On the last Sunday in March – i.e. this weekend – the clock will be turned again. The hands will jump from 2:00 to 3:00 in Europe – although the change between normal and daylight saving time should already have become obsolete. After the topic caused a stir in Europe a little more than four years ago with a proposal from the EU Commission, it has become quiet again: a changeover to only summer or winter is not in sight.
Indeed, the ball is still in the court of the EU Council of Ministers, which discussed the abolition of the twice-yearly time changes the last time in June 2019, the transport ministers are responsible. The European Parliament voted in March 2019 with a large majority for the abolition of daylight saving time as of 2021 – or a year later if there are difficulties for the single market.
But then came the Corona pandemic, followed by the Ukraine war, and the EU has had very different priorities since then. Should this become a reality, the abolition of daylight saving time would have to be agreed to by most member states. No one has raised the issue again since then. Thus, the time changeover in the EU will likely become a timeless niche issue with no current significance.
In the entire EU, therefore, the changeover to daylight saving time continues to occur on the last Sunday in March – and back again on the last Sunday in October. Daylight saving time was introduced in Europe in 1973 in response to the oil crisis and to save energy. The time shift was intended to gain an hour of daylight for businesses and households. France made a start at that time.
Austria introduced it only in 1979 because of administrative problems and because they wanted harmonization with Switzerland and Germany regarding traffic. These two countries did not introduce daylight saving time until 1980. However, summertime already existed in the Alpine republic during the First World War. In 1916, it applied to the monarchy from May 1 to September 30 but was discontinued. A second – permanently unsuccessful – attempt was made between 1940 and 1948.
- source: k.at/picture: Bild von mohamed_hassan auf Pixabay
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