Malta launches public consultation on summertime arrangements

The Maltese public can voice their opinion on the EU’s plans to abolish the practice of switching between summer and winter time in an online public consultation launched yesterday.

Minister for European Affairs and Equality Helena Dalli, along with Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia, made the announcement on the consultation on the proposed daylight saving measure.

Currently, all EU Member States follow the same timetable to change the hour. This ensures that trade and travel run smoothly between states and is regulated by the European Union (through Directive 2000/84/EC).

In recent years, the practice has been questioned by many people and the debate has gradually built momentum, to the point that the issue was taken up by the EU. The debate on “Summertime” primarily focuses on two points: the need to maintain harmonisation in all areas such as trade and the varied effects the switching from summertime to wintertime in October and from wintertime to summertime in March has on the routine lives of Citizens.

The European Parliament passed a resolution in February 2018, which called on the Commission to prepare a thorough assessment of Summertime arrangements in Member States and emerge with a proposal.

The Commission, in turn, carried a public consultation. The results of this show that 84% of 4.6 million respondents want to abolish time changes. 54% of Maltese participants have said that they were in favour of abolishing time changes.

On September 12 this year, following the State of the Union (SOTEU) speech, the Commission published a Proposal to end seasonal time changes throughout the EU in 2019.

The proposed amendment to the Directive provides that Member States may decide whether they want their standard time to correspond to their current summertime or wintertime. Therefore, Member States will be allowed to make one additional time change in October 2019 and from that date onwards they will no longer apply changes to their seasonal time.

Click here to participate in the  online consultation.

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