Don’t forget to put the clocks back

At 3am on Sunday morning the clocks go back by one hour as we switch back to Central European Winter Time. From tomorrow it will be light one hour earlier in the morning and get dark an hour earlier in the evening. We will revert to summer time in the early hours of the last Sunday in March. For some time now the European Commission has wanted to bring to an end the twice yearly ritual of putting the clocks back and forward. However, the 27 EU member states have been unable to reach agreement on whether we should permanently use summer time or that winter time should be used throughout the year.  

In March last year the European Parliament voted to back the European Commission’s proposal to abolish the twice-yearly switch between summer and winter time. However, the decision on which time zone to be in is a matter for the individual member states and they are divided on the issue.

Some of them want to keep winter time the year round, while others would prefer to keep summer time. Each member state has its own valid reason for its preference. No changes to the current system can be made until all 27 EU member state are in agreement.

In Belgium too public opinion is pretty much evenly split on whether we should keep summer time or winter time all year long. A survey carried out by the Prime Minister’s Chancellery found that the vast majority of Belgians is for scrapping the twice-year ritual of putting the clocks forward and back. However, 50% are for keeping winter time, while 45% prefer keeping summer time throughout the year.

It is up to Belgium’s Federal Government to make a decision. However, the corona crisis means that it, like the governments in other EU countries, has more pressing matters to address. 

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