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Most Responded EU Proposal Paused Again Due to Corona

The proposal to discontinue seasonal time change is further delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus. It has been approved by the European Parliament in March 2019 and it has been waiting for more than one year to be discussed at the European Council. 

By Liv Longhi & Ryan Li 

EP press conference: the vote on ending clock change (Photo: European Union 2019)

Since the Daylight Saving Time is not supported by the EU citizens anymore and its diminishing effectiveness, a proposal to cancel the seasonal time change was launched. Currently, it is waiting for its first reading in the European Council. 

Johan Danielsson, who was the MEP responsible for leading the discussion in the Parliament, believed that the proposal will be passed. Major debate will be whether to adopt permanent summer time or permanent standard time, which will take place after going through the Council. 

However, the discussion is on halt at the moment. 

According to MEP Morten Løkkegaard, it is on hold mainly because of two events: the election to the EU Parliament last year in May where the constitution took time away from working on the proposal and now corona. 

“It is not in line first and there is no appetite for it in the council,” Morten Løkkegaards says.

He also claims that former president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker was the main propeller of the issue before he left in November 2019. He tried to push it through but did not manage. 

Despite the issue being highly concerned by citizens as it was the most-responded consultation in the EU, not many Politicians are interested in picking up the issue. Therefore, the discussion on the proposal froze with Junker’s severance.

According to Morten Løkkegaard it is a process so it is not a dead end. 

“There are many proposals where political interest fades, although citizens are very interested.”

He states that now it is about whether citizens can put the Daylight Saving Time on the agenda. If interest suddenly comes from below, things will be pushed.

The last time change is originally planned to happen in 2021, as said in 2019. However, the last change will be postponed due to the halted discussion in the Council. Danielsson believed that 12 to 18 months are optimal for the transition to take place after the approval in the Council.

Read more: Europe is on Their Way of Scraping Seasonal Time Change

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