People do not need to turn their clocks ahead in spring as the EU Parliament votes to end daylight saving time (DST) in 2021.
Each member nation will have to decide to follow summertime or wintertime permanently. The legislative party will work out the details of the proposal before passing it as a law.
Big On Big Things, Small On Small Things
During his 2018 State of the Union Address, President Jean-Claude Juncker urged state members to discontinue DST that first started in EU in 2001.
"Clock-changing must stop. Member States should themselves decide whether their citizens live in summer- or wintertime," Juncker said.
Juncker said the state members have to coordinate the changes to ensure proper functioning of the internal market and prevent fragmentation. The last switch to mandatory summertime will be on March 31.
Those who will choose to permanently go back to wintertime will still have the chance to revert their clocks on Oct. 27. Changes that will be made after are no longer possible.
The proposal is part of Juncker Commission's agenda to allow member states to decide on matters that is best for them. Daylight saving time was first introduced in the 1970s at the time of war and oil crisis.
Health Impacts Of Seasonal Clocks
A 2017 study concluded that DST has been beneficial to internal markets particularly in transport sector. It also boosts outdoor leisure activities and generates marginal savings in energy consumption. However, related studies suggest that seasonal clock change have negative health effects.
A study presented to the American Academy of Neurology in 2016 noted that transitions brought by DST are tied to increased risk of ischemic stroke albeit temporary.
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke that occurs when a clot prevents the normal blood flow in the brain.
"Previous studies have shown that disruptions in a person's circadian rhythm, also called an internal body clock, increase the risk of ischemic stroke, so we wanted to find out if daylight saving time was putting people at risk," said study author Dr. Jori Ruuskanen from the University of Turku in Finland.
Researchers found that the incidence of ischemic stroke increased two days after transitioning to DST. The risk was higher for cancer patients at 25 percent and people over age 65 at 20 percent.