Wintertime: why change the clocks?

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Series Details 26.10.16
Publication Date 26/10/2016
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Citizens recurrently turn to the European Parliament with comments on the changing of the clocks. Some citizens are in favour of the summertime /wintertime arrangements; others call on the Parliament to abolish it. On Sunday 30 October 2016 clocks go back one hour, but why?

In fact, twice a year the clocks in all EU Member States are switched back by one hour from summer to wintertime (on the last Sunday in October) and forward one hour from winter to summertime (on the last Sunday in March).
The decision on the standard time ('normal time' or 'winter time') falls within the competence of Member States. Most Member States introduced summer time in the 1970s, although some had started applying it much earlier for varying lengths of time. Since the 1980s the EU legislator, i.e. the Member States and the European Parliament, have adopted several directives harmonising step by step the varying summer-time arrangements. The main idea was to provide a stable, long-term planning which is important for the proper functioning of certain economic sectors requires, especially as regards transport.

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Blog: EP: EPRS, 21.10.15: Changing of the clocks from summertime to wintertime

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