The return to the winter schedule during the night of Saturday 27 to Sunday this weekend will occur in the middle of the European debate about the real usefulness of a measure that seems doomed to disappear in 2019.
Thus, at 03:00 am on Sunday, the clocks will have to be delayed until 02:00, a measure officially in force since Directive 2000/84 / EC set the rules that mark the start of summer time in March and its completion in October.
Now, the EU itself proposes the disappearance of the biannual schedule change – in summer and in winter – through a new European Directive that could be enacted in 2019 and that the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, defended during his last Speech of the Union on September 12.
During the last months of July and August, the EC organized a consultation among European citizens in which 4.6 million people participated: 84% of them expressed their support for suppressing seasonal advances and delays.
The first provisions of this kind were adopted throughout the EU as a result of the oil crisis of 1973, as a complementary measure to encourage energy saving.
However, in recent years there has been a growing citizen movement that questions the suitability of maintaining a provision whose real savings could be only 6 euros per year in the energy bill per household, according to data from the Institute for Diversification and Savings of the Energy (IDAE).
"The change of time was justified in the 70s after the so-called oil crisis, but not in 2018," assured Efe the president of the Association for the Rationalization of Spanish Timetables (Arhoe), José Luis Casero
Casero applauds the proposal for elimination raised by the authorities in Brussels because "with the new models of work organization, families and the use of energy-saving lamps", the energy savings produced are "marginal".
In addition, has emphasized health reasons because "although there was an economic justification, we must prioritize the health of people," although a statement provided by the portal www.eltiempo.es describes as "false" that the change in time generates "serious disorders in the body" but rather "mild conditions that are overcome within a few days" assuming a series of routines.
Among them, modify the time of meals little by little, adjust the time to go to sleep or not nap on Sunday.
There are also favorable positions to maintain the alternation of time, such as the one advocated by the IDAE, for which only in lighting in Spain 5% of electricity consumption is saved – some 300 million euros – by providing citizens with more light in the afternoon hours.
In any case, sources of the European Commission in Spain have assured Efe that "we want both the Parliament and the Council to approve our proposal as soon as possible" to eliminate the change of time.
This proposal, which "should be approved no later than March 2019" includes the election by each EU member country of the definitive schedule for which it will be permanently governed, which must be notified "as late" in the month. of April.
The whole process should be resolved before the next European elections scheduled for May.
In this way, the last mandatory change of summer time would take place on Sunday March 31, 2019, although for countries that choose the winter time there will be another change, already final, on Sunday, October 27, 2019.