EU should seriously consider ditching daylight saving time, says Ratas

Estonia, like the rest of the EU, observes summer time, known in other parts of the world as daylight saving time. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

According to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), the EU should seriously consider putting an end to observing European Summer Time, which sees clocks advanced by one hour from spring to fall across three time zones and in most of the union.

Researchers have found that the changing of the clocks twice per year negatively affects people's health and sleep cycles, Ratas said according to daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian). "It is also always accompanied by issues first and foremost with the planning of international work and transport schedules," he added.

"Historical reasons, such as energy savings, for the observing of summer and winter time no longer have a substantial efficiency factor," noted the prime minister.

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner announced on Friday that the Finnish government will submit a formal proposal to the EU to end the observance of summer time. As this decision is regulated with an EU directive, member states of the union cannot adopt such a decision independently.

In 2000 and 2001, Estonia did not observe summer time, but as this caused communication issues with the rest of Europe, Estonia returned to observing summer time in 2002.

"Naturally it's unthinkable that each EU member state would begin to decide and resolve the matter separately again," Ratas said. "The use of summer and winter time, or the decision to end it, must be decided together."

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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