Winter / summer time switch still valid?

The EU should abolish the change of time. It is high time, after three years of counseling and empty promises, Bernd Riegert believes.

Izvor: DW

Saturday, 30.10.2021.

13:44

Winter / summer time switch still valid?
Foto: EPA-EFE/Stephanie Lecocq

Winter / summer time switch still valid?

On the night from Saturday to Sunday, the entire EU moves the clocks back one hour and switches from summer to winter, i.e. normal time calculation. In 2018, EU citizens decided in an online poll that the six month time shift should be abolished.

The European Commission and the European Parliament have agreed with the citizens of the EU.

Only the Council of the EU, i.e. the representation of the 27 member states, since the first consultations in 2019, failed to reach an agreement in that regard.

Angela Merkel and her colleagues in the European Council ignored that issue, emphasizing that Brexit, climate protection, the coronavirus and other important topics should be addressed first. Poor excuse, considering that this is ultimately about the will of the citizens and that before the European elections in 2019, it was promised that the unpopular and unnecessary change of clocks in March and October would be abolished.

Well, that shouldn't be a problem, ordinary mortals would think, who don't want to deal with the depths of the EU bureaucracy and the confusion of member states' interests. Some countries would like summer time to remain forever, others do not give up on winter time. Some think that it is getting too late, and others think that it is getting dark too soon.

Tables with the duration of sunshine, the times of its rising and setting are always re-analyzed. They point out that, geographically speaking, the whole of France actually belongs to another, more western time zone, and Poland to a more eastern one.

Some MEPs predict total chaos with time and the end of the common European market if each country makes its own decision to change the time. This is, of course, nonsense, because the single calculation of time in the EU has existed only since 2002. And before that, the continent functioned without any major problems.

It takes time and compromise

An awkward argument over a simple issue shows the EU's basic problems, also when it comes to major issues such as COVID-19, climate protection, China and the rule of law in Poland: in essence, member states set the direction.

If only one or two countries oppose, nothing works anymore. So, there is no dictatorial central government in Brussels that could decide on such a simple thing as changing the time.

It takes time and compromise, a lot of time, to reach a solution.

From the outside, that complex beauty of the EU watch is disturbing, almost catastrophic. A community that, after three years of debate, is unable to agree on time switch, wants to play an important role in the world, in foreign policy, and to be a leader? Funny! The change of time in the night from Saturday to Sunday should be the last.

The saying goes: all in good time.

The time will come when the EU Council will have to solve this nebula for which it is responsible. The European Commission and the European Parliament agreed with that. Only the EU Council, i.e. the representation of the 27 member states, failed to reach an agreement on that in the first consultations in 2019. Angela Merkel and her colleagues in the European Council ignored that issue, emphasizing that Brexit, climate protection, the coronavirus and other important topics should be addressed first.

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