The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu decided in favour of abolishing twice-yearly clock changes switching the country between standard time and European Summer Time. While the government did not indicate whether it preferred staying on standard or summer time, the Riigikogu committee came out in favour of remaining on the latter.
Last week, the Estonian government decided in favour of putting an end to the practice of changing the clocks twice a year. The European Union Affairs Committee, which convened to discuss the same matter, likewise decided to support introducing the matter in the EU with the goal of putting an end to the practice.
"While the government left open whether we support switching to summer or winter time after ending the practice of changing the clocks, then the committee developed the position that in case the changing of clocks is abandoned, the committee is in favour of remaining on summer time," committee chairman Toomas Vitsut (Centre) told ERR.
According to Vitsut, the committee's primary argument in favour of remaining permanently on summer time was that this would grant Estonian residents more daylight for various activities.
He added that the EU is waiting on the committee's position regarding introducing the debate over whether or not to continue changing the clocks in the EU, but the discussion within the committee was dragged out primarily due to discussion over nuances.
"In the course of the discussion, various aspects of clock changes were brought up," the committee chairman noted. "This can be considered from educational, economic or many other aspects, and this is what took a long time."
The committee arrived at its position as a compromise, with no votes against and one abstention. The European Union Affairs Committee will submit its position to the European Commission.
The possibility of abolishing clock changes in the EU was introduced by a citizens' initiative in Finland, in which the Parliament of Finland received an appeal together with the signatures of nearly 70,000 Finnish citizens calling for summer time to be abolished.
Editor: Aili Vahtla