The European Parliament has supported this Tuesday to end the change of seasonal time in the EU from 2021, allowing each country to choose if it wants to maintain the summer or winter time.
The Member States that decide to stay with the summer schedule would change the clock for the last time in March 2021, while those who choose the winter schedule would have to change the time again in October 2021.
Izaskun Bilbao (PNV), vice president of the ALDE group, has applauded the approval in the European Parliament of the agreement to end "without haste but without pause" with the seasonal changes of time that will begin to be negotiated with the Council. Izaskun Bilbao Barandica considers that the process of this directive "is an enormous opportunity for the Union to generate confidence and proximity by working with rigor and seriousness to convert the citizen concerns expressed by the more than four million Europeans who participated in the public consultation on this issue, in a norm that ends in an orderly and transparent manner with these changes ".
The text was approved with 410 votes in favor, 192 against and 51 abstentions.
MEPs agree with the European Commission's initiative to end the time change, but are in favor of delaying its implementation until 2021 - and not in 2019 as proposed by the Commission.
The Chamber insists that the Member States and the Commission should coordinate to ensure that the application of summer time in some countries and summer in another will not harm the functioning of the internal market.
If the Commission concludes that the lag can significantly and permanently affect the internal market, it may propose to delay the date of application of the directive for a maximum of 12 months, says the text approved by the plenary.
After this vote, the Chamber is ready to start negotiations with the EU ministers on the final content of the directive. Since the Council has not yet set a common position, the dossier will be moved to the next Parliament, which came out of the May elections.
The European Commission is staying alone. It is the only leg of the three that fundamentally make up the European Union, which defends to end seasonal hours in record time. The other two, the Council - which brings together the States - and the European Parliament, ask to take it more calmly.
In response to citizen initiatives, in February 2018 the Parliament asked the Commission to evaluate the advisability of maintaining the change of schedule and, based on its conclusions, to propose a revision of the current directive.
The Commission carried out an evaluation, which received 4.6 million responses, 84% favorable to suppressing the change, and then presented a legislative proposal. The co-legislators, the Parliament and the Council must agree to make the text effective.
The EU unified the change of time procedure in 1980. According to the current norm, countries must change to summer time on the last Sunday in March, and back to standard time on the last Sunday of October.