BERLIN (Reuters) – The head of the European Union said Friday that the bloc will end the summer-winter transition practice after a survey found most EU citizens against the practice.
FILE PHOTO: A huge sculpture constructed with the faces of clocks will be seen on March 27, 2009 in front of a Parisian train station. On weekends, when France indicates summer time one hour earlier on Sunday morning. REUTERS / Charles Platiau / File Photo
More than 80 percent of EU citizens wanted to abolish the EU change and preferred summer time for the whole year, said Jean-Claude Juncker on German television to a debate among EU commissioners plan.
"We will decide that today," said Juncker. "Millions … believe that summer should be all the time."
Any change would still need the approval of national governments and the European Parliament to become a law.
Under EU law, citizens in all 28 EU countries must advance one hour on the last Sunday in March and switch back to winter on the last Sunday in October.
But Finland, with its northernmost EU capital, this year called on the EU to end the practice, which critics say can cause long-term health problems, especially for small children and the elderly.
Research has shown that time change can interrupt sleeping hours and affect productivity at work.
Proponents say that switching to additional morning light in the winter and evening light in the summer can help to reduce traffic accidents and save energy.
Outside the EU, some European countries have stopped switching between summer and winter, including Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Iceland.
coverage by Gernot Heller and Andrea Shalal; Edited by Edmund Blair