Commission proposes to end seasonal time changes

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 12.9.2018 18.20
Press release
Commission proposes to end seasonal time changes (LVM/Shutterstock)
Commission proposes to end seasonal time changes (LVM/Shutterstock)

The European Commission proposes that the practice of daylight saving time be ended from the beginning of 2019. According to the proposal, the bi-annual clock changes would be abandoned throughout Europe.

The Commission proposal leaves Member States the freedom to decide their standard time. After the decision has been made, they will not be able to switch the time according to seasons. However, Member States will still decide themselves which time zone they want to apply.

Directive proposal based on Finland's initiative

In Finland, the removal of the daylight saving time is based on citizens' initiative that was introduced to Parliament for discussion in spring 2017. After that, on 15 November 2017, Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner sent a letter on the daylight saving time to European Commissioner Violeta Bulc. The letter explained the situation in Finland and asked about the Commission's plans for summer time. On Finland's initiative, the matter has also been actively brought up at the Council of the European Union.

"Finland's initiative was successful. It is great that people's voices have been heard and Finland's work delivers results. The message of both Finns and other EU citizens has been specifically clear: the practice of changing the clocks should be discontinued, " says Minister Anne Berner.

Consultation of the general public continues

"The Ministry of Transport and Communications will launch an open public consultation in September on what should be Finland's permanent standard time in future: winter or summer time," says Minister Berner.

What next?

The public consultation will be launched at in September. The aim is to examine views and opinions on whether Finland should permanently transfer to winter or summer time. The results will be used in further preparation of the matter.

The Directive proposal will be discussed in Government and Parliament. Finland's official position on the proposal will be formed in the discussions. In the EU, the Directive will be prepared further in the Council and the European Parliament.

The Directive will be adopted by joint decisions of the EU Council and Parliament. Only after that it will be nationally implemented in each Member State.

In order to ensure a smooth transfer to the new arrangement, the Commission proposes that each Member State inform by no later than April 2019 whether it wishes to permanently adopt the summer time or the winter time. 

The last compulsory change to summer time is suggested to take place on Sunday, 31 March 2019. After that, EU Member States wishing to permanently adopt the winter time can once more switch the time on Sunday, 27 October 2019. After that date, changes would no longer be possible.

Requests for interviews with Minister Anne Berner:
Riitta Mäkelä, [email protected]

Director of Safety and Security Unit Elina Thorström, tel. +358 40 507 4502