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is it really the fault of the Covid-19?

Twice a year, the mechanics are known to all, young and old: you have to “delay” or “advance your watch by one hour” at the end of October and at the end of March (it must be brought forward, in the night from Saturday to Sunday). ), due to a time change in force since 1976 in France, before European harmonization in 1980. However, in 2018, MEPs asked the European Commission to launch a detailed “evaluation” of the system, with the ultimate goal of ending this practice. But three years and the passage of a bill later, the situation has not changed.

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Discussions blocked since 2019

Initially, after the passage of the bill to abolish the seasonal time change in March 2019, each country had until April 2020 to decide what time it wanted to keep. The bill was however blocked at the level of the Council of the European Union, which did not adopt it. The coronavirus crisis, which erupted in the spring of 2020, has relegated this question, which is essential for our biological rhythm, agriculture and the environment, to a later date.

Is it really the fault of the current pandemic that our smartphones always have to move the clock forward or back? “The Covid crisis is not in question”, thus affirms the MEP Karima Delli, at the origin of this proposal of the European Commission, in the columns of South West, Friday. The EELV manager recalls that the “major reason” for this blockage lies in the fact that “discussions at member state level have been at a standstill since June 2019 and an unfavorable opinion from the legal services of the Council of the EU”.

Not before 2023?

Among other things, countries must be encouraged to harmonize their choice of legal time, in order to avoid ending up with a patchwork of time zones between neighbors. “Several southern European states were not particularly favorable to the end of the time change, unlike northern European countries. Everyone had their own idea,” sighs the MEP to the daily.

In France, an online consultation organized in 2019 by the European Affairs Committee of the National Assembly received more than two million responses, overwhelmingly (83.74%) in favor of the end of the time change. More than 60% of those who participated claimed to have had “a negative or very negative experience”. As for the time to stay all year round, it was summer (in France UTC +2) which was preferred by 59% of participants. But due to the current status quo, “it would be extremely difficult to envisage an end of the time change for 2022 or 2023”, concludes Karima Delli.

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