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Europeans want to stop clock change: EU survey

The European Commission published on Friday the preliminary results of an online public survey on clock change in Europe. 

"According to the preliminary results, 84 percent of respondents are in favor of putting an end to the bi-annual clock change," the Commission said. 

The Commission noted that the consultation received over 4.5 million responses from all EU28 countries, the highest number of responses ever received in any Commission public consultation.

Violeta Bulc, the commissioner for transport, said in the statement that millions of Europeans used the consultation to make their voices heard.

"The message is very clear: 84 percent of them do not want the clocks to change anymore," Bulc said. "We will now act accordingly and prepare a legislative proposal to the European Parliament and the Council, who will then decide together."

The Commission said the final results of the public consultation will be published in the coming weeks.

The Commission noted that since the 1980's, the EU gradually adopted legislation whereby all member states would agree to coordinate the clock change and put an end to diverging national schedules.

"Since 1996, all Europeans have been changing their clock forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March and by one hour backward on the last Sunday of October," it said. 

"The purpose of EU rules was not to harmonize the time regime in the EU but to address the problems, notably for the transport and logistics sectors, which arise from an uncoordinated application of clock-changes in the course of the year," the Commission said, adding:

"In parallel to the daylight saving time arrangement in the EU, the member states apply three different time zones or standard times -- the decision on the standard time is a national competence."

Early Friday, in an interview with German public television ZDF, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also commented about the current practice of summer-winter time arrangement. 

“If one is asking the view of citizens on that matter, then one should also do what the citizens have said," Juncker said.

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