54% of Maltese want to abolish bi-annual clock change

The European Commission has today published the preliminary results of a public Summertime consulation, revealing that 84% of participants want to stop changing the clock

Malta is one of the few countries, along with Cyprus and Greece, to show that it's largely indifferent to this change
Malta is one of the few countries, along with Cyprus and Greece, to show that it's largely indifferent to this change

News has come out from Brussels that Europe is not pleased with the bi-annual change of clocks for the purpose of saving daylight.

The consultation, taking the form of online surveys, took place between 4 July and 16 August 2018, engaging 4.6 million responses from all of the 28 European member States. This was the highest recorded number of responses ever received in any public consultation.

The preliminary results have shown that a sweeping majority of 84% is in favour of abolishing the bi-annual clock change. 

Malta's participation has shown that it is one of the very few countries that seems to be largely indifferent to the clock change, with only a small majority in favour of abolishing it. It's interesting to note that the countries with similar responses to ours were Greece and Cyprus, both of which would like to keep the bi-annual change as it is. Italy, though it has clearly voted to abolish it, has revealed that its overall experience with the bi-annual clock change is not as negative as it is in other countries.

76% of the respondents consider that changing the clock twice a year is a 'very negative' or 'negative' experience. The reason for this response was mostly related to negative health impacts, increase of road accidents or the lack of energy savings.

European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc presented these preliminary results to the College of Commissioners that held a first discussion on the possible next steps. Commissioner Bulc said: "Millions of Europeans used our public consultation to make their voices heard. The message is very clear: 84% of them do not want the clocks to change anymore. We will now act accordingly and prepare a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council, who will then decide together."

(Getty Images) Most Europeans agree that changing the clock is a negative experience, enough motivation to welcome the rescission of the bi-annual clock change
(Getty Images) Most Europeans agree that changing the clock is a negative experience, enough motivation to welcome the rescission of the bi-annual clock change

European Commission President Juncker put the summertime question on the political agenda as part of his pledge to allow Member States to take decisions where they are best placed to do so. The public consultation on clock change arrangements was organised by the European Commission as part of its ongoing assessment of the current arrangements on clock change in Europe. It also follows the European Parliament's resolution in February 2018, as well as requests from Member States, stakeholders and citizens.

The final results of the public consultation will be published in the coming weeks. The Commission will now make a proposal to the European Parliament and the Council with a view of changing the current clock change arrangements.

Since 1996, all Europeans have been changing their clock forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March and by one hour backward on the last Sunday of October. Following the consultation and the overwhelmingly unambiguous response, this might be about to change.

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