Ministry of Social Affairs favours year-round summer time

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

The Ministry of Social Affairs supports draft legislation by the European Commission which seeks to stop switching between summer and winter time in the EU, noting that it would be more beneficial to people's sleep schedules to commit to year-round summer time.

The ministry supports the principle of the draft which preserves member states' authority to decide about their own time zone and whether they will permanently switch to a time zone corresponding to their summer time or remain on the standard time of their current time zone time year round.

"Regarding the decision on whether to stick to summer time or the time zone [standard], what needs to be considered is which option gives people more daylight hours to engage in active activities," the ministry said, adding that in that regard, year-round summer time would be more beneficial as more hours of darkness are spent sleeping and more daylight hours can be spent on being active.

An analysis published by Statistics Estonia this August revealed that on average, in the case of year-round winter time, a person would spend 19% of their sleep time sleeping during daylight hours. In case of year-round summer time, however, the average person would be asleep during daylight hours for 12% of their sleep hours.

Ministry, EU Affairs Committee of same position

The European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu decided in August in favour of abolishing twice-yearly clock changes switching the country between standard time and European Summer Time. While the Estonian government did not indicate at the time whether it preferred staying on standard or summer time, the Riigikogu committee came out in favour of remaining on the latter.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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