Clocks go forward this weekend in Estonia, EU

The EU will continue switching between summer and winter time through spring 2021.
The EU will continue switching between summer and winter time through spring 2021. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The clocks are due to go forward in Estonia in the small hours of Sunday 31 March, in line with most European nations, as they move into daylight saving time.

The switch-over, traditionally on the last Sunday in March – which happens to be the final day of March this year – could be one of the last such changes, since the European Parliament supported a proposal this week to end the practice after 2021.

If this goes ahead, EU countries will have the choice to either switch for the last time in March, or on the last Sunday in October, traditionally when the clocks revert back.

In Estonia's case, the switch could be complicated by the fact that Estonia's nearest EU neighbours are split on which time change option to pick. Whereas Latvia prefers to make its summer time 2021 the last change, Finland is opting to make the winter change its final transition, it is reported. This would mean that from late 2021, either Latvia will be one hour ahead of Estonia, or Finland one hour behind, as things stand at present.

The weekend's change takes place at 03.00 in the morning, which immediately becomes 04.00, giving those that have to be up on the Sunday morning an hour less in bed. Most smartphones and other modern devices make the change automatically.

Arguments in favour of daylight saving in summer, first used in one particular town in Ontario, Canada in 1908, principally revolved around improved productivity during World War One, when it was first introduced in Europe. The practice supposedly also encourages people to get outdoors more, and for longer, during the summer months, and is argued to be a boost to tourism.

It also saves on energy with less artificial light being used in the evenings, though Estonia's high latitude means this is somewhat of a moot point in the months of May, June and July. Moreover energy is consumed by computers and other tech regardless of what happens with the clocks.

Arguments against daylight saving include body-clock confusion contributing to accidents and, following the October changeover, increased depression.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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