European Parliament has come one step closer to abolishing seasonal time changes throughout Europe. According to The Local's German division. MEPs (Member of European Parliament) on the Committee on Transport and Tourism voted 23-11 in favor of ending the EU's seasonal time changes in a vote on Monday.
This isn't the final say in the matter, however, as the Council of Member States must also vote to obtain a union-wide consensus. If the change is approved, it would be up to each Member State to determine whether to comply with the change. It also wouldn't go into effect until 2021.
There is also some disagreement as to how to implement the change, some supporting switching to Summer Time and others to Winter Time.
This change could have a major impact on air and rail travel, as well as other forms of transportation, and the shipping of goods.
This vote comes after an EU-wide poll showed that 84% of respondents supported ending the biannual time change.
Swedish MEP Marita Ulvskog gave a statement after the vote:
"We have decided to see that we don't go through this time change between the different seasonal periods. We don't have summer time and winter time, in the way we have today. That also means that the Member States can decide if they want to have permanent summer time or permanent winter time."
"Of course there has to be information and a system that works, so that you adjust to that because transports, flights, traffic, and lots of other things wouldn't work if we couldn't see to that you are well informed and you can adjust to this change."
"We will decide in the Parliament when we have our next session in late March and after that it is for the Council and the Member States to say how they want to end this journey."
"Because it's a journey. Lots of people have been travelling with us. More than 4 million Europeans have written to the European Union to say that they are not in favour of making those time changes every year."
Many people on Twitter seemed to support the decision.
@guardian Good idea. Changing the clocks forward or back with the seasons is an anachronism in this day and age.… https://t.co/3XhKxXHiXq— GOU Limiting Factor (@GOU Limiting Factor)1551735740.0
Not everyone agrees with the decision, many citing ways it might make life more complicated.
Deirdre Clune says the EU consulted & 80% wanted to scrap clock changes. In reality most of those who took part in… https://t.co/UWenxhFxeh— Larry Brindisi (@Larry Brindisi)1551726027.0
"If the UK leaves the EU, the government will be free to maintain British summer time, meaning Northern Ireland wou… https://t.co/C971yOsdxV— Mel☆nie (@Mel☆nie)1551723668.0
@europarlAV @maritaulvskog I never wanted nor asked for this. Leave well enough alone— Miriam Kennedy (@Miriam Kennedy)1551757450.0
Quite a few people from around the globe expressed interest in their countries making the change as well.
@europarlAV @maritaulvskog Please do this in the US too ❤️— Mandi Donga (@Mandi Donga)1551750385.0
@europarlAV @maritaulvskog If that can be done here in Canada I’m all for it too— Philip Stavropoulos (@Philip Stavropoulos)1551754395.0
Please, please, please can we do this in Canada? Enough of this pointless practice. https://t.co/ue1jLR6KdQ— Graeme McDonald (@Graeme McDonald)1551723592.0
The EU has had unified summer time and winter time changes since 1980, when they were synchronized "in order to ensure a harmonised approach to time switching within the single market," according to a press release from the European Parliament. Any major changes in the way time is standardized within the EU must also be handled in a similarly harmonious fashion to avoid interruptions to European's daily lives.