On Thursday 8 February 2018, European Parliament deputies voted to put an end to changing the hour twice a year in the European Union. In order for this to be enacted, they now need to convince the 28 member states.
Is the hour going forward or back? Are we gaining or losing an hour of sleep? This are the questions we regularly find ourselves asking when the hour changes, which could soon become a thing of the past. In fact, following several initiatives and citizens’ petitions, the European Parliament deputies voted on the 8th February this year to put an end to daylight savings hours, with 384 in favour, versus 153 against.
This measure would affect the entire European Union, meaning over 510 million people would be affected. In any case, the change will not be immediately effective, because all 28 member states must agree before it is definitively validated. The European commission will be in charge of this next step.
Daylights savings hours, which are applied simultaneously throughout Europe on the last Sundays of March and October, are governed by the European directive on daylight savings. As specified in the text supported by the European Parliament on the 8th February, a unified system throughout the EU should be maintained in the case that daylight savings hours are abandoned.
The main objective of daylight savings hours, which have been implemented for many years, was to conserve energy.
As a reminder, the next time the hour is due to change is set for just over one month’s time, between the night of Saturday 24th and and the morning of Sunday 25th of March.