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Lithuanian minister calls on EU to abandon daylight saving time

Christian Fernsby |
This week, Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis in his letter to European Union institutions reminded of the proposal submitted by the European Commission (EC) in 2018 to discontinue seasonal time change and urged a coordinated and swift solution to this issue at EU level.

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“Although the proposal of the European Commission was submitted four years ago, European citizens still have to change time twice per year. I believe it is imperative to take political responsibility and finally close this issue by taking a joint EU decision.

"When numerous studies point to the negative impact on their health during the days of the seasonal clock change, we must make the well-being of our fellow Europeans our top priority and finally put an end to the outdated, ineffective and harmful time change regime,” says Minister Skuodis in his letter to EC Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean, Minister of Infrastructure of Slovenia, which is holding the Presidency of the EU Council, and Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism Karima Delli.

The Minister notes that internal public consultations both with the society as well as businesses in Lithuania clearly showed that there will be no impact on the economy if the time difference does not deviate from the time of Western European countries by more than two hours and a coordination mechanism is set up in special circumstances, i.e. Member States should agree on a specific date from which the European Union should abandon seasonal time and a clear information procedure should be established.

“Obviously, setting up a coordination mechanism does not constitute a major obstacle and should be easily dealt with at a technical level. It is deeply disappointing that the EU cannot reach an agreement on such a simple proposal after several years of discussions,” states Minister Skuodis in his letter.

During EU public consultations carried out by the European Commission as much as 84% were in favour of discontinuing biannual time change.

Discussions of the EU Council regarding the discontinuation of time change are currently at a standstill. The proposal for a EU Directive discontinuing seasonal time was last considered in 2019 when it was decided to allow some time for Member States to carry out internal consultations and surveys.

Being one of the first EU countries to have carried out preparatory consultations, Lithuania urges the EU to solve the issue of seasonal time change in a smooth and coordinated manner.


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