Autumn not only brings with it falling temperatures, but also the time change. In Europe, the hands will be turned back one hour at 3 a.m. on October 29th – and thus to normal time. Actually, the time change should have been abolished long ago, but the EU states cannot agree and the tiresome topic is being postponed.
Otherwise always good for discussions, the excitement about the time change was limited this time – humanity is currently dealing with more pressing issues, the Ukraine war, the corona pandemic or climate protection. It is therefore still completely unclear how the time change will continue in the EU. The process of abolition was started by an EU-wide online survey. In this, 84 percent of the participants had spoken out in favor of an end to the time change. Most voted in 2018 for a permanent summer time. 4.6 million answers, three million of them from Germany alone, were received – a record, but still less than one percent of EU citizens. In the entire EU, the clock was turned on the last Sunday in March – and the last Sunday in October back again. Daylight saving time was introduced in Europe in 1973 on the occasion of the oil crisis and with the aim of saving energy. With the time difference, one hour of daylight should be gained for companies and households. France was the first to do so. Austria only decided to introduce it in 1979 because of administrative problems and because it wanted harmonization of traffic with Switzerland and Germany. The topic has fallen behind due to the corona pandemic. The EU Commission then proposed that the change between summer and winter time be abolished from 2019. Instead, the states should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to have summer or winter time permanently. However, concerns about this plan came from many countries, since a uniform time zone seems desirable for the economy, at least in Central Europe. Otherwise, international time differences would affect trade even more. There is no sign of an agreement, the individual ideas are too different. With permanent summer time, the sun would rise very late in winter for countries in the west, while in the east it would be dark very early with permanent winter time. Nothing moves forward like this, Europe is blocking itself.