Clock ticking on Daylight Saving Time, as EU voices preference for summer timekeeping – The Post

Clock ticking on Daylight Saving Time, as EU voices preference for summer timekeeping

But are the southern European countries really in touch with the north’s need for light in the morning?

These days most devices do it automatically, but there’s always one! (photo: iStock)
September 3rd, 2018 9:20 am| by Ben Hamilton

It won’t be long before the entire nation is waking up and going to work and school in the dark.

It won’t last very long, though, as the clocks will go back 60 minutes on the last weekend of October, giving us all an extra hour’s grace in the lead-up to Christmas, by which time it will again be pitch-black when we go about our first steps of the day.

On the shortest day of the year, December 21, the sun will rise at 08:45 – a nightmare for farmers, cyclists and anyone who appreciates a healthy dose of serotonin to help them get out of the bed in the morning.

But now there are plans afoot within the EU that could result in this being changed to 09:45.

EU wants summertime
Following the results of a EU-wide online survey in which around 80 percent of 4.6 million participants voiced their support for permanently switching to summertime hours, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has told the German TV channel ZDF that the union needs to listen to the people.

The survey was carried out after a majority in the European Parliament voted in February in favour of revising the Daylight Saving Time (DST) rules.

Nevertheless, EU spokesperson Alexander Winterstein said it would be up to individual states which time they would choose, and the Transport Ministry has not yet confirmed its position.

Transport Ministry undecided
In a statement, the Transport Ministry concedes that some people find changing their clocks twice a year “annoying”, but seems unsure about whether it would opt for summer or winter, appearing to value the extra hour of light on summer evenings more than the extra hour of light on winter mornings.

“The summertime gives the Danes an hour more light in the evening, and the price is that it will be an hour later in the morning at a time when most people still sleep,” it noted, adding that there has been no official notification from the EU regarding the matter yet.

Mixed views elsewhere
Daylight savings association Landsforeningen mod sommertid backs a move to wintertime.

“Right now people are used to the lovely, bright summer evenings,” its chair Jørgen Bak told DR.

“But you forget that the price of summertime all year round are terribly dark winter mornings in which the sun doesn’t really rise before noon in Denmark.”

However, the DBU football association welcomes a permanent move to summertime.

“It’s brilliant,” DBU vice-chairman Bent Clausen told DR








History of DST

– DST was first introduced in various parts of Canada in 1908.

– Germany and Austria became the first countries to introduce DST, when they introduced it in 1916 to save fuel during World War I.

– It main opponents in the war, the UK, France and the US, quickly followed, and they continued with DST into the future. Most other countries, including Denmark did not.

– DST again caught on during WWII and Denmark used it from 1940 to 1948.

– DST was used widely during the oil crisis in the 1970s to save energy, although Denmark resisted the urge. However, since 1980 it has permanently been in place in Denmark.

– A 2001 EU Directive on Daylight Saving Time came into force in 2001, setting a harmonised date and time so that all EU countries changed to summertime at the same time.