Procedure : 2015/2722(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000111/2015

Texts tabled :

O-000111/2015 (B8-0768/2015)

Debates :

PV 29/10/2015 - 3
CRE 29/10/2015 - 3

Votes :

Texts adopted :

Parliamentary questions
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25 September 2015
Question for oral answer O-000111/2015
to the Commission
Rule 128
Pavel Svoboda, on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs
Michael Cramer, on behalf of the Committee on Transport and Tourism

 Subject: Hearing on summer-time changes in Europe
 Answer in plenary 

Directive 2000/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 January 2001 on summer-time arrangements provides for a common date in both spring and autumn on which clocks must be put forward and back respectively by one hour in order to make the most of seasonal daylight in all Member States.

At a European Parliament public hearing under the title ‘Time to revisit summer time?’ held on 24 March 2015, experts presented recent research findings on the possible impact of summer-time arrangements on transport and tourism, European industry and health and energy savings.

Despite the scientific evidence provided in the hearing that the current summer-time arrangements have more negative than positive effects, the Commission issued a press release in which it stated: ‘Since the EU rules were put in place as early as 1981, various reports, studies and impact assessments have been conducted which all show that 1) the rules are beneficial and 2) most Member States are in favour of keeping them as they are. This Commission is all about being big on the big things and this recurrent debate, as interesting as it is, is not one of them’.

1. Why is the Commission deliberately ignoring numerous research findings from the EU and elsewhere, notably the US, pointing out the negative impact of summer-time arrangements?

2. When and how will the Commission re-examine the impact of seasonal time change on transport and tourism, energy consumption, agriculture, European industry and health in light of these scientific findings? Or does it already at this point have any proof that energy consumption has been reduced by the introduction of summer time in Europe?

3. Does the Commission have an estimate of the economic benefits and costs of changing clocks, watches, transport schedules and biannual schedules?

4. What impact does the increased energy efficiency of electric lamps and appliances have on the relevance of the implementation of summer time?

5. Does the above-mentioned press release represent the official position of the Commission, and does the Commissioner responsible consider its content and tone to be an appropriate response to an initiative and concern raised by elected members of the European Parliament while the Commission seems only to value the position of Member States?

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