Europeans in large numbers were in favor of quickly abandoning the need to change the clocks twice a year. The European Commission’s proposal in this matter was supported by the European Parliament, and 2021 was to be the last year in which we change the time.
It was argued that such changes are too costly and burdensome not only for citizens, but also for companies. However, work on eliminating the time change has stalled.
We have no new information
– answers the spokesman of the European Commission, Eric Mamer, when asked at what stage the works are.
For several years, the EC has been repeating that the ball is on the side of the Member States, and they cannot agree on which zone to choose. Most countries declared their willingness to adopt summer time, the Nordic countries preferred to stay on winter time, and the countries in southern Europe did not want to change anything.
Where did summer time come from?
The very concept of summer time, when – on an agreed date – we move our watches one hour ahead of the standard zonal time, dates back to the 18th century. Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, although it is worth noting that his article on this subject was primarily humorous.
In it, Benjamin Franklin calculated how much money Parisians could save on lamp oil if they only adapted to the natural rhythm of the day – they got up with the sunrise and went to bed with the sunset. The American even suggested that unruly Europeans could be taught to get up early, for example by waking them up with a cannon shot.
The British William Willett took the matter much more seriously. In 1907, in a pamphlet he published, he proposed that the clocks be moved forward by 80 minutes during the summer, which he believed would save £2.5 million a year in lighting. Willett was so convincing that his idea made it to the British Parliament.
There it was finally rejected, but the seed was sown. By the way: William Willett is the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin, the lead singer of the band Coldplay, which sheds new light on the British group’s 2002 single “Clocks”.
The concept of introducing summer time came back during World War I, when European powers were looking for a way to save energy resources, such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, which were crucial for the armaments industry. The first country to change the clocks was Germany. It took place on April 30, 1916.
Then Great Britain followed the same path, and in 1918, before the end of hostilities, the obligation to use daylight saving time was introduced by the United States.
Currently, summer time operates in almost 70 countries around the world, and in Europe alone clocks are not changed only in Russia, Belarus and Iceland. Since 1996, European Union countries – regardless of the time zone in force in a given place – switch to summer time on the last Sunday in March, and return to winter time on the last Sunday in October.
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