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Why remove the time change seems so complicated

It has been more than a year since we talked about it, the suppression of the change of time was supposed to take effect in 2019. However, it will still be necessary to set back our watches this Sunday, October 27, according to the well oiled ritual of the passage to the winter hour ; at 3 o'clock in the morning it will be again 2 hours. But then when will this seasonal change be abolished? In 2021 meets the European Union … In theory.

While the change of time is disputed, for its consequences on health and its low impact on energy savings, the European Commission voted in 2018 for the removal of the time change in 2019, after a consultation public. 4.6 million Europeans responded and 84% were in favor of removing the change in seasonal time.

In March 2019, the European Parliament also voted in favor of the suppression of change, but by 2021, to give States time to choose their time zone, to keep daylight saving time or to change the time. 'winter hour. A choice that members must notify before 1st April 2020.

“But for now nothing is adopted, the text is still under negotiation between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union,” says Sabine Thillaye, MP En Marche, chair of the European Affairs Committee at the National Assembly.

European imbroglio

It is therefore still the 2001 directive, obliging European states to change their time on the last weekend of March and the last weekend of October, which applies. A system that now allows 73% of Europeans to live in the same time zone, according to Sabine Thiallye.

And if the subject may seem anecdotal, it poses a lot of complex issues, biological, but also cultural and economic.

At the last European Council, on 7 June, a document from the Legal Service was put forward pointing to the lack of impact assessment of this deletion, according to Karima Delli, President of the Transport Committee in the European Parliament.

“The transport committee was right to push back to 2021, it is necessary to evaluate the economic impact,” adds Sabine Thiallye. This is a question that has prompted the Commission to call for co-ordinating states to ensure the “proper functioning of the single market”.

“There is indeed a need for harmonization, otherwise we may end up with a patchwork of time zones impossible,” said Karima Delli. “We must also avoid a logistical nightmare for rail, aviation … and then pay attention to cross-border employees who can not live on two spindles”, considers the MEP. But inter-state discussions in the Council of the European Union are slipping.

According to her, the majority of states recognize the merits of the deletion, but some consider that the issue is beyond the competence of the European Union, as Italy. On the other hand, some members have already taken a public stand in favor of daylight saving time, such as Germany, Cyprus, Poland or Portugal, while Belgians, Finns or Danes are in favor of 'winter hour.

And this is where the knot lies in this European imbroglio: everyone is supposed to be free to choose their spindle, but how to harmonize the constraints and choices of each country?

Summer time or winter time, that is the question

So what time zone for France? In early 2019, the National Assembly organized a public consultation with more than 2 million responses. As a result, 84% of participants wanted to remove the time change and almost 60% wanted to stay in daylight saving time.

For fans of summer time, prolonged sunshine in the evening in winter would have beneficial effects: fight against seasonal depression, promote the practice of sport, enjoy the long summer evenings …

But for supporters of winter time, it would bring closer to solar time in France (an hour shift instead of two for the summer time) and human biological rhythm. Vice-President UDI of the Senate, Vincent Delahaye, prefers to talk about “natural time”. “Speaking of summer or winter time disrupts the debate, people naturally go to summer,” said this senator from Essonne. In summer time all year, the inhabitants of the Atlantic facade would see the sun rise at 10am in winter. “It would be very complicated for people who work early, such as farmers or construction,” considers Vincent Delahaye.

But for the moment the decision seems to be blocked at the European level.

Vincent Delahaye regrets the lack of transparency and national debate on the issue. “I would like to understand the decision-making process, the senator points out.The process chosen by the government is not clear enough and everyone is in limbo is not normal.

“I'm not sure there is a vote in the end, I think the decision can be taken at the level of the government”, finally regrets Vincent Delahaye.

Not sure either the situation is unblocked by 1st April. “My commission will revive the subject,” promises Karima Delli. “For the moment there is no European commission, Junker said 'yes Europe will end the change of time' and we will see if the future Commission fulfills this commitment,” the MEP concluded.

In winter time :
On June 21 in Paris, the sun would rise at 4:45 am and go to bed at 9 pm
On December 21st in Paris, the sun rises at 8:45 am and sets at 5 pm

In summer time :
On June 21st in Paris, the sun rises at 5:45 am and sets at 10 pm
December 21 in Paris, the sun would rise at 9:45 and go to bed at 18 hours.

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