null Minister Berner’s proposal on abandoning summer time arrangements progresses
Minister Berner’s proposal on abandoning summer time arrangements progresses
On a proposal by Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, the Ministerial Committee on European Union Affairs outlined on 26 January 2018 that Finland will move forward with abandoning EU summer time arrangements. The proposal does not take a stand on whether the summer or standard time would be observed. The core of the proposal is that the bi-annual switch of the clocks should be abandoned. Abandoning or amending the practice requires an initiative from the European Commission.
The proposal is based on a citizens’ initiative to end the arrangement of switching clocks to summertime. “I want to further a cause that people and Parliament have considered important. It is vital that a harmonised timetable for abandoning the arrangement would be adopted in the European Union. That would be the only way to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market and smooth flow of transport”, Minister Berner says. “I brought up the issue in the December meeting of the Transport Council. The matter is not included in the Commission’s legislative programme, but the Commission said it was open to take measures, if a majority of Member States supported the matter,” says Minister Berner.
At first, Finland will find out what are the views of Member States and the European Parliament on this. Finland will also urge the Commission to provide an account on the impacts of observing summer time and switching the clocks. It is essential particularly for the functioning of transport systems and services that the EU approach in taking the matter forward will be harmonised.
A citizens’ initiative has been presented in Finland to abolish the summertime arrangement, and the topic has also been discussed in the European Parliament.
What happens next?
The policy outline of the Cabinet Committee on European Union Affairs will be discussed at the parliamentary Grand Committee. If the Grand Committee approves it, Finland can propose to the European Commission that the summertime arrangement be abolished.
Timo Kievari, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 059 3706
Leif Beilinson, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 40 071 7314 (after 30 January 2018)