Brussels What has been your experience with the change between summer time and daylight saving time? Would you prefer to end the time change? These were questions posed to EU citizens and hundreds of thousands responded. So what comes next?
After just about six weeks, the European Union survey about whether or not to do away with the summer time change has ended. According to a spokesperson, there has been great interest in the EU Commission survey since the beginning of July. In the first three days alone, more than 500,000 online questionnaires were completed. At the halfway point, more than one million responses had been received.
Among other things, participants were asked what their experience had been with the change from daylight saving time to summer time, and whether they would want to eliminate the time change in spring and autumn. As well, they were invited to make comments in a text box.
According to the EU Commission, it may take days or weeks before the results are evaluated and published. A spokesperson said that on Friday, they would only be able to give the total number of participants. At first, it will remain unclear as to how many people in each country voted for or against eliminating the time change.
In any case, the EU Commission emphasizes that this is not a referendum. The European Parliament had commissioned the Brussels authorities to examine calls for an elimination of the time change. The survey is only part of the criteria they will use in making a determination.
Taking into account all factors, if the EU Commission would conclude that the time change should be abolished, it could submit a corresponding legislative proposal. But the European Parliament and EU states would still have to agree. This means a decision is still a long ways off.
In Germany, there has been a change to summer time since 1980. Since 1996, the summer time lasts for seventh months of the year. People in all EU countries turn their clocks one hour ahead on the last Sunday in March and one hour back on the last Sunday in October. The goal of the time change is to make better use of the daylight and save energy, but the actual benefits are highly disputed.
(Orig. text: dpa, Translation: Carol Kloeppel)