I am urging people to have their say on the issue of scrapping the clock changes entirely. Irish people are being invited to take part in a public consultation on the issue which will run until 30th November.
This is an issue that affects everybody. I have been working with various parties for many years to push forward these changes. I welcome this move by the Department of Justice to encourage Irish people to have their say in summertime arrangements. It is important that people voice their opinions on this matter if they wish to have a say in the debate.
At European level Irish people took part in a public consultation and Ireland voted overwhelmingly to stop the clock changes. There are many benefits to ending the process of changing the clocks each year such as improved outcomes for road safety and economic benefits. In addition brighter evenings in winter would have a positive benefit for public health.
All Member States are being requested to indicate whether or not the support the proposal and thereafter whether they want to opt for permanent Summertime or permanent Wintertime from 2019 onwards.
Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD today announced a consultation which is asking members of the public whether they are in favour of abandoning the current system and, if they are, whether they would prefer to stay constantly on “summer time” or “winter time”.
The consultation will be asking three questions:
- Do you want to stop changing the clocks twice a year?
- If the clock changes stop, do you want to remain on summer time or winter time?
- Is staying on the same time as the UK more important than your choice of summertime/wintertime?
Further information regarding the consultation can be found on the Department of Justice and Equality’s website www.justice.ie. You can have your say on this issue by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 November 2018.
In his State of the Union Address recently, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed to end seasonal clock changes in Europe in 2019. Summertime arrangements in the EU require that the clocks are changed twice per year in order to cater for the changing patterns of daylight and to take advantage of the available daylight in a given period.”
As part of an assessment of the current arrangements, the Commission held a public consultation in summer 2018 which received 4.6 million responses, the highest number ever received in any public consultation organised by the European Commission. 84% of respondents were in favour of ending seasonal clock changes.
In light of these elements, the European Commission has concluded that there is no point for Brussels to keep regulating seasonal time changes and that Member States should be free to decide whether they want to be in summertime or wintertime and handle the matter at national level, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.