Online survey on ending the seasonal time changes opens

Online survey on ending the seasonal time changes opens

Press release 26.09.2018 07.02 fi sv en

A survey on ending the seasonal time changes will be available on site from 26 September to 12 October 2018.  It will provide an opportunity to express views on what should be Finland’s permanent standard time in future: summer-time, winter-time or some other time zone. 

The results will be used in preparing Finland's position on the Directive proposal regarding summer-time arrangements. 

The aim of the survey is to examine views and opinions on whether Finland should adopt winter-time or summer-time on a permanent basis. 

Information on the opinions and wishes of Finns on the matter will also be collected in a poll that will be carried out by TNS Kantar Oy. The survey results will represent the opinions of Finns according to regions, age groups and socio-economic background. During the preparations, impact assessment in other areas will also be carried out and experts will be consulted.

Summer-time arrangements applied for over 35 years

Finland has continuously observed summer-time since 1981. According to the current provisions, summer-time begins on the last Sunday of March at 03.00 when the clocks are turned forward one hour. Summer-time ends on the last Sunday of October at 04.00 when the clocks are turned back one hour.So summer-time is in place for seven months and winter-time for five months of the year. 

If the seasonal time changes end, the choice of the permanent standard time will affect the number of daylight hours in the evening and morning. If summer-time was to be adopted as the permanent standard time, evenings would, on average, be somewhat lighter and mornings darker. If the choice for the permanent standard time would be winter-time, mornings would, on average, be somewhat lighter and evenings darker.

In practice, the time zones of other countries will also have impacts on businesses, for instance. The ending of the time switch is expected to have positive effects on health. 

The capacity of the site has been reinforced

The discussion to be opened at the site has attracted a lot of interest and the number of respondents is expected to be exceptionally high. Measures have been taken to prepare for a peak in the number of service users. However, slowness or short breaks in the service are possible. 

What next?

A decision will be made at the EU level on ending the summer-time arrangements. After that each Member State can decide which time zone it will adopt. 

In Finland, Parliament has taken the view that the abandonment of time changes should be taken forward within the EU.  No decisions have been made as to which time zone Finland should adopt. 

If a decision is reached to end the practice of daylight saving time, the permanent standard time in Finland will be decided by Parliament. 

A broad-based consultation will be arranged in Finland on the matter. The results will be used in further preparations of the matter.  

The Directive proposal will be discussed in Government and Parliament. Finland’s official position on the proposal will be formed in the discussions. In the EU, the Directive will be prepared further in the Council and the European Parliament.

The possible adoption of the Directive is a joint decision of the EU Council and Parliament. Only after that it will be nationally implemented in each Member State.

In order to ensure a seamless transfer to the new arrangement, the Commission proposes that each Member State inform by no later than April 2019 whether it wishes to adopt summer-time or winter-time on a permanent basis.

According to the proposal, the last compulsory change to summer-time would take place on Sunday, 31 March 2019. After that, EU Member States wishing to permanently adopt winter-time can once more change the clocks on Sunday, 27 October 2019. After that date, changes would no longer be possible.

A survey on ending the seasonal time changes will be available on site from 26 September to 12 October 2018


Requests for interviews with Minister Anne Berner:
Riitta Mäkelä,

Director of Safety and Security Unit Elina Thorström, tel. +358 40 507 4502