Summer time clock changes to end in 2021

The EU Parliament has voted to scrap daylight saving time from 2021. However each state is allowed to decide for itself whether to introduce permanent winter time or summer time. What does the end of the clock changes mean for Europe's citizens?

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Õhtuleht (EE) /

Estonia between two stools

Having different time zones between neighbouring states is really not a good idea, Õhtuleht points out:

“We are in a situation in which Estonia prefers summer time, as does Latvia, but Finland wants to remain on winter time so as to stay in the same time zone as Sweden. We are between two stools. The Baltic states may have agreed to opt for summer time, but Finland is also a key neighbour. It really wouldn't make sense if once the Tallinn-Helsinki tunnel has been built the two sections of the twin city 'Talsinki' were in different time zones.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Twilight in Europe

Stefano Bartezzaghi finds the prospect of the Italians living in a permanent summer time worrying in La Repubblica:

“Europe is bringing twilight forward prematurely. You may accuse me of being too sentimental when I make such comments about the decisions Europe is preparing to take regarding time on the continent. But if Europe really abolishes the possibility of putting the clock forwards or backwards, and Italy decides to keep summer time permanently, this is precisely what will happen, namely that twilight will literally be brought forward. ... In the months in which days grow longer dawn will come at a time that is convenient only for very few people while we will have to enjoy our dinner by the light of our chandeliers.”

Polityka (PL) /

A potential drawback for companies and tourists

One issue in particular could prove problematic, Polityka believes:

“Unfortunately it seems very likely that this could put an end to the huge common time zone that currently stretches from Spain to Poland and is extremely practical for businesses and tourists alike. The new directive will oblige many countries to make a difficult decision: do they choose the time zone of an important neighbour or a zone that better corresponds to the people's needs? It's also hard to tell what this will mean for the UK - which is now so at odds with the EU. It doesn't want to scrap the time change for the time being, meaning there could be different time zones in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

Origo (HU) /

Europe has more important things to deal with

The European Union should turn its attention to more important issues than daylight saving time, the pro-government website Origo writes:

“Whatever you say it's strange that the EU bodies have nothing more important to do than engage in meaningless debates about daylight saving time. Perhaps they could address the issues that pose real problems for Europeans, for example immigration, border protection, security, or whether to adopt the budget plan for the next cycle.”