MEPs to vote on Daylight Saving Time proposals next week

Irish MEP Sean Kelly has welcomed the move

Daylight Saving Time, Ireland, clocks, going back, survey, Brighter Evenings Bill

Clocks being tested prior to shipping at the Electric Time Company in Medfield, Mass. | Image: Charles Krupa / AP/Press Association Images

The European Parliament is to vote next week on changing the current system of putting clocks back in winter and forward in spring.

Irish MEP Sean Kelly took part in a committee meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, where MEPs agreed to put it to a vote at the full parliament.

Mr Kelly says a plenary vote in favour will put pressure on the European Commission to come up with plans to change the current system.

He says getting this far has been a slow and persistent process.

"There are a number of countries who already indicated that they want the bi-annual change to stop - countries like Finland, Poland and Estonia - but we have to do it right across the European Union.

"It's a slow process, but thankfully we now have got it on the floor of plenary (session) next week in Strasbourg.

"And I'm quite confident that will help us to progress it so that the Commission can come forward with proposals to change the directive".

The news follows the publication last October of the European Parliament's Research Service study on EU summer-time arrangements.

This suggested that the benefits of Daylight Saving Time are "marginal" because what you save on light you spend on heating.

It also found that negative consequences for health are "more severe" than previously thought.

But the report also said: "Beyond considerations on the effects, repeal of the Summer Time Directive would not automatically abolish summer time across the EU.

"It would just end EU-wide harmonisation and bring the issue of summer time back into the competence of the member states.

"Member states would be free to decide about their individual time regimes: they might opt to retain summer time (at the current or a modified DST schedule) or to end summer time.

"Abolishing summer time would in the first place result in year-round standard time ('winter time'), which by definition entails darker evenings in spring and summer.

"To obtain year-round summer time member states would technically need to change time zone.

"However, uncoordinated national time arrangements would likely have negative repercussions on the internal market."