Time is up for European Union-mandated daylight savings time. The European Commission and European Parliament have agreed on that. All the relevant committees in Parliament are for the change,…
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(karma: 4671)Post stats: Points: 127 - Comments: 80 - 2019-03-06T03:18:12Z
Time is up for European Union-mandated daylight savings time. The European Commission and European Parliament have agreed on that. All the relevant committees in Parliament are for the change, according to Germanyʼs conservative Christian Democrat (CDU) MEP Peter Liese, who has devoted a lot of time to the issue.
Now that the lead committee on transport and tourism has given its blessing, by a large majority, EU lawmakers could vote on the change by the end of March. After that, all 28 member states will need to rubberstamp the ruling.
On German time?
European Commission President Jean-Claude Junckerʼs brash statement back in September, asserting that the amendment would go ahead quickly, has proven to be premature. At the time, Juncker was referring to an overwhelming response to an EU online survey, where an unexpected 80 percent of respondents said the practice of changing the clock twice a year was outdated.
The biggest Cuckoo clock in the world, in Germanyʼs Black Forest. (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Seeger)
The biggest Cuckoo clock in the world, in Germanyʼs Black Forest.
But the survey was not representative, with 3 million of the 4.6 million votes coming from Germany. This led to diplomats from smaller EU countries complaining behind closed doors that the European Commission wanted to impose German will on the other states through sheer populism.
Juncker was keen to abolish the twice-yearly time shift by spring, probably so he could claim, before European Parliament elections in May, that the will of the people had been reflected. But some member states demanded a transitional period up to 2021.
Good things come to those who wait, it seems, especially in the EU. As a compromise for the repeal of the "Directive on summer time," spring or autumn in 2020 has now been suggested.
Read more: Summertime: What a joke!
EU members taking their time
This means that by June EU states will have to draw the lines for each time zone and decide what time those places will set their clocks to, and when.
Some EU members — including the United Kingdom, Greece and Portugal — want to stick to the old rules and continue to switch between summer and winter time through the year.
Infographic of EU Timezones
Cyprus, the Netherlands, Denmark, France and Ireland have not decided. The other states want to get rid of the twice-yearly change, but still have to decide which time will apply.
"You need time to give the member states the opportunity to coordinate. It is really important that we donʼt have a total patchwork," German MEP Peter Liese, told DW. In the future, if you drive from Hamburg through the Netherlands and Belgium to France, you should only have to change the clock once, at most, not three times, Liese said. Airlines, railways and transport companies would have to make adjustments. "But you donʼt need two years for that. It will be faster," he said.
A changing Zeitgeist
To be on the safe side, the European Parliament is calling for a "coordination network" of member states and, of course, an ombudsperson. It remains to be seen whether chaos will actually break out when the EU no longer sets the clock. As it stands, mandated EU-wide summer time has only existed since 2002.
\* A man in front of a huge clock (Uli Deck/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++)
This is what happened every in October and March — and might disappear in the future if the EU agrees on the measure: Zeitumstellung, or time change. Even if it feels horrible to give up an hour of sleep, keep in mind youʼll get it back in the fall. Zeitumstellung at least gives a feeling of power — even if we are all bound by time, twice a year we act like we can change it.
\* Playboy Magazin USA Cover (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Playboy)
Many other German expressions integrate "Zeit," the word for time. A "Zeitschrift" — literally, time writing, is simply a magazine. Whether it includes political discourse or scantily clad women (now with nipples covered), theoretically a magazine should keep up with the times.
\* Calendar page March 8 with tulips (photo: Jens Wolf)
While Zeitgeist can also be used in English, its direct translation — time spirit — conjures up images of Charles Dickensʼ Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present. Referring to the philosophical idea that each era is characterized by particular ways of thinking, the concept of Zeitgeist dates back to 18th-century philosophers and is often associated with Johann Gottfried Herder.
\* Woman eating huge burger (Photo: Gennadiy Poznyakov)
Like time itself, food is elementary to the human existence. A "Mahlzeit" simply means "meal time," and can refer to breakfast, lunch or dinner. But itʼs also used to wish someone else the maximum amount of pleasure while eating. Next time you see a friend chomping down on a sandwich, you can say, "Mahlzeit!"
\* Bride with the groom on the bench (Photo: Fotolia/tramp51)
Itʼs often referred to as the happiest day of your life. In German, itʼs also a "high time" — a "Hochzeit." Who isnʼt high on adrenaline and emotion on that day of all days, on which your credit card debt reaches an all-time high? And for some impatient mothers-in-law, it certainly may be "high time" for that son to finally get hitched.
\* A girl with a pickle (Photo: Patrick Pleul dpa/lbn +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk)
Itʼs "pickle time!" Iʼll have a BLT and some chips with that pickle, please... Actually the term "Sauregurkenzeit" originally, in the 18th century, referred to periods when little food was available. Now, itʼs used during the summer when everyoneʼs on vacation, politics comes to a standstill, the streets are empty, and things get quiet. Pickle anyone?
\* Angela Merkel with child in front of a computer (picture-alliance/dpa/K. Nietfeld)
While "Genosse" means "comrade" and has a communist after-taste, a "Zeitgenosse" is anyone who lives at the same time you do: a contemporary. Just think: You are a "Zeitgenosse" of Angela Merkel, Heidi Klum and Cristiano Ronaldo. Your co-worker may not cheer, though, if you tell him heʼs your "time comrade."
\* Child with clock (Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk)
German often has a single word for a concept English needs a phrase to express. "Zeitgefühl" is your sense of time — something that suffers when youʼre concentrating on an important project, staring into the eyes of your sweetheart, or changing the clocks back for daylight savings. Your Zeitgefühl may say itʼs 8:00 am, but itʼs really only 7:00. So go back to sleep already!
Author: Kate Müser
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The EU is set to end daylight savings time in 2021, at least in some states. The European Parliament has taken another step towards freeing members of the bloc from the mandated change, but why is it taking so long?www.dw.com