Summer time starts – One hour less sleep: clock is set forward


On the last Sunday of March – this weekend – the clock is turned back. The hands jump to 3am at 2am in Europe – although the transition between normal and summer time should have been its longest time.

After the subject caused a stir in Europe just over four years ago with a proposal from the European Commission, peace has returned: there is no sign of a switch to only summer or winter time.

The ball is still in the hands of the EU Council of Ministers, which last discussed the abolition of the biennial time change in June 2019. The transport ministers are responsible. In March 2019, the European Parliament voted by a large majority to abolish summer time by 2021 – or a year later if there were difficulties for the internal market.

But then came the corona pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, and since then the EU has had completely different priorities. A majority of Member States would need to agree to abolish summer time for this to become a reality. Since then, no one has raised the issue, according to EU Council circles. The change of time in the EU has therefore probably become a timeless niche topic that is currently irrelevant.

Watches have been turned since 1973
Across the EU, summer time continues to be converted to the last Sunday in March – and back again to the last Sunday in October. Daylight saving time was introduced in Europe in 1973 on the occasion of the oil crisis and with the aim of saving energy. With the time difference, an hour of daylight must be gained for companies and households. France was the first to do so.

Austria only decided to introduce it in 1979 because of administrative problems and because it wanted to harmonize traffic with Switzerland and Germany. These two countries did not introduce daylight saving time until 1980. However, summer time 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 then discontinued. A second – unsuccessful – attempt was made in the years 1940 to 1948.

Source: Krone


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