MEPs vote for 'thorough assessment' of daylight saving time

Many believe the bi-annual clock changes negatively impact people's health and only have 'marginal' benefits

MEPs vote for 'thorough assessment' of daylight saving time

Picture by: Patrick Seeger/DPA/PA Images

The European Parliament has voted in favour of asking the European Commission to carry out a "thorough assessment" of daylight saving time.

MEPs voted in favour of a resolution calling for an examination of the current EU summer-time arrangements - and also asks commissioners to propose changes if necessary.

The resolution was adopted by MEPs with 384 votes in favour compared to 153 against.

Many believe the clock changes in March and October negatively impact on people's mental and physical health.

Sean Kelly MEP is one of those in favour of abolising the clock change.

He observed: "We think there's no need to change the clocks.

"It came in during World War One. It was supposed to be for energy savings - the indications are there are very few energy savings, if any."

He added: "There are an awful lot of disadvantages to both human beings and animals that make it outdated at this point. We are working to try and end it."

The current EU summer-time arrangements, which have been in place since 2001, provide "a harmonised date and time for the beginning and end of the summer-time period across the EU" - with the aim of helping the internal market work effectively.

Last October, the European Parliament's Research Service published a study on EU summer-time arrangements.

It 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.

However, the report also noted: "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 daylight saving time back into the competence of the member states."

That would effectively mean it would be up to individual members states to make decisions about summer time - whether to keep the clock change or abolish the practice.