Clocks go back on Sunday 31 October
In Finland, summer time ends and clocks are changed back to Eastern European Time on the night between Saturday and Sunday. Clocks will be changed back by one hour next Sunday, 31 October 2021, at 4.00 in the morning.
Clocks are changed in all EU Member States at the same time on the same date. Adjusting the clocks at the same time is important for international rail and air traffic, for example. Clocks are always changed on the last Sunday of March and October. Early Sunday morning was chosen as the time causing the least inconvenience because the volume of traffic is at its lowest then.
Daylight Saving Time has been adopted everywhere in the European Union. Finland has observed Daylight Saving Time without interruption since 1981. Finland was the last country in Europe to adopt the practice of Daylight Saving Time as a permanent arrangement.
EU Member States continue to change clocks for the time being
In 2018, the European Commission proposed that the biannual clock changes be abandoned across the EU in a harmonised manner. The Member States would remain free to decide nationally which time they want to adopt on a permanent basis.
Of the Member States, Finland has advocated abandoning seasonal time changes the most actively. People, businesses and other stakeholders were widely consulted in Finland to facilitate national decision-making. The results showed that many were in favour of abandoning clock changes. While both summer and winter time were supported fairly evenly, winter time gained slightly more popularity.
Finland does not currently have a formal final position on the choice of permanent year-round time. Finland underlines the importance of avoiding fragmentation of time zones.
How is the proposed directive proceeding?
The initial target schedule for the Commission's proposal has not been met. The European Parliament voted on the Commission's proposal as early as in spring 2019, when it adopted the legislative proposal to discontinue clock changes. At that time, the Parliament proposed that clocks be changed for the last time in 2021.
The Council of the European Union and the European Parliament will decide on the matter jointly. The proposal is still awaiting consideration by the Council. However, discussions between the EU Member States on the Commission's proposal are stalled at the moment, and it is unlikely that clock changes will be abandoned in the next few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has also delayed the debate on Daylight Saving Time.
If the directive is adopted, it will be implemented nationally in each EU Member State.
Maria Rautavirta, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 718 5975, [email protected], Twitter: @mrautavirta