Don’t forget to put your clocks forward

We’re in the last weekend of March and as in other years the last weekend of March will be an hour shorter than other weekends. At 2am on the morning of the last Sunday of March we switch from winter time (GMT+1) to summer time (GMT+2). This means that the clocks go forward by one hour and 2am becomes 3am. The reverse is true on the last weekend of October that due to the switch from summertime to winter time is 1 hour longer than other weekends. 

From tomorrow we can expect it to still be light well beyond 8pm. Although the European Union had wanted to ditch the twice-yearly ritual of changing the clocks, the member states can’t agree on whether summer time or winter time should be dropped, so for now at least nothing will change.

The current system of switching to summer time from the end of March was brought in here in 1977. This was in the wake of the 1974 oil crisis and the introduction of summer time was above all designed to be away of saving energy. However, many people enjoyed it being light for longer.

However, there have always been people that are opposed to changing the clocks and this group has grown. They say that summer time has led to lower energy consumption. The morning rush hour is in the dark and the evening rush hour in the baking sun they say. Those that oppose summer also say that it disrupts people’s biological clocks.

EU has asked the member states to choose either winter time or summer time the whole year round. Opinion is very much divided. A survey carried out by the Federal Chancelry Department found that a small majority (50%) was in favour of winter time while 45% favoured summer time and 5% had no preference. The Federal Government in Belgium has yet to decide what preference it will pass on to the European Commission.


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