Lithuanian govt hopes for EU switch time decision this year
Lithuania's government hopes the European Union will make the final decision on stopping the biannual time switch this year already.
After the European Commission announced its plans to propose renouncing the existing procedure of changing the clocks in spring and fall, member states and the Parliament will need to vote on changing the corresponding directive, Government Vice Chancellor Deividas Matulionis told BNS Lithuania on Friday.
He believes member states will not block the proposal as over 80 percent of surveyed Europeans were in favor of changing the existing order.
"The European Commission will submit the decision to the Transport Council to abolish the directive and it will make the decision, and the European Parliament will have to endorse it. There's huge backing, and I believe it should only be a formality and nobody will block the Commissions' proposal and the public opinion," Matulionis told BNS Lithuania. "We expect the decision by the end of this year."
Lithuania has been one of the initiators of the bid to stop changing the clocks across the EU.
Expressing its position earlier this year, the Lithuanian government proposed to the European Commission to stop changing the clocks and leave summer time permanently.
According to Matulionis, such a decision would not be final and after the EC's decision the Lithuanian government would hold a discussion on this time – summer or winter – to leave.
Summer time is introduced annually in the majority of European and North American countries. The scheme's supporters say longer lighter summer evenings allow saving energy and encourage people to spend more time outdoors. Moreover, few car accidents are recorded and there's a lower risk of crime.
Critics, however, say the annual time shifting irritates people and leads to short-term health problems. They also miss clear economic evidence behind the scheme.