This March may mark one of the last times clocks spring ahead in parts of the European Union. As Reuters reports, the European Parliament wants to give countries in the EU the option to stop observing Daylight Saving Time, and the change may come as early as 2021.
Though it doesn't go into effect at the same time everywhere (in the U.S. clocks change on March 10 in 2019, and in the EU it won't happen until March 31), other countries do practice Daylight Saving Time. Originally conceived as a way to save energy during World War I, Daylight Saving has become the subject of backlash in modern times, with it being blamed for everything from car accidents to seasonal depression. Now the European Union is close to taking real steps towards abolishing it.
The European Parliament's transport and tourism committee voted to approve a proposal that would get rid of mandatory Daylight Saving Time in the EU starting 2021. Under the new rule, states in the European Union would be free to independently decide whether or not to recognize the twice-yearly time change. The Council of Member States still has to vote on the ruling before it can become official.
The proposal was a response to an online survey of 4.6 million EU citizens showing that 80 percent of them wanted to do away with Daylight Saving Time. The results were controversial, as 3 million of the votes came from Germany alone, but that hasn't stopped the EU from taking action.
If the EU does vote to repeal Daylight Saving Time, trade and travel in the continent will likely get more complicated. While many states have expressed interested in abolishing the practice, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Portugal would likely keep it. Cyprus, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Denmark are undecided.