Proposal on implementing permanent time zones in the European Union
The proven benefits of clocks being aligned with solar time and the negative impact of misaligned clocks on health, the economy, education, safety, and the environment urge for the implementation of permanent time zones as close as possible to solar time (natural time) in Europe.
The Barcelona Declaration on Time Policies working group to end clock changes has agreed on a plan to end clock changes and implement permanent time zones in the EU. The key elements of the proposal are presented below. Considering the benefits of geographically correct time zones and the negative consecuences of misaligned clocks:
- The EU Commission has the responsibility to reactivate the political process on this subject.
- The EU Member States have the responsibility to ratify the EU proposal (European Directive on Discontinuing seasonal changes of time) and agree to adopt the permanent time zones which are as close as possible to their solar time (natural time).
For the European continent there is an easy solution which does not require a patchwork of time zones. The following map shows the recommended time zones and steps to be taken for all 27 EU member states. We are aware that political considerations will need to be made for those member states that have territories in different time zones. One possible solution is the one being applied in the case of Spain and the Canary Islands, that have different time zones. In some cases, if the territories are close, the same time zone may be used, even if not geographically correct. This can be the case for the situation of Northern Ireland and Ireland or France and Corsica.
Specific solutions need to be found for European territories outside the European continent.
Map: Recommended time zones for the European continent
After agreement of a common date within the EU, we recommend doing the transition in 1 to 2 steps, depending on the member state:
- Step 1: All EU countries abolish the clock change to DST in spring and remain on the clock time they use in winter. For those countries whose recommended time zone is their current standard time, no further steps need to be taken.
- Step 2: Those countries whose recommended time zone is not yet their current standard time, additionally turn back their clocks one last time by one hour in autumn, in order to adopt their recommended time zone as their new standard time.
Would you like to know more?
Read the full document, including a justification for our recommendation, in English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Frequently Asked Questions on Daylight Saving Time (DST)
If you are a representative of an organisation and agree with our proposal, you can endorse it by answering this questionnaire. Your logo will be added to our current endorsers below.
Individual experts endorsing the proposal
- Martha Merrow, Ph.D., Institute of Medical Psychology, LMU of Munich (Germany)
- Till Roenneberg, Ph.D., Institute of Medical Psychology, LMU of Munich (Germany)
- Erik Herzog, Ph.D., Department of Biology, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
- Diego Golombek, Ph.D., Time and Experience Lab, San Andrés Univeristy, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
- Gonzalo Pin, M.D., Quiron Hospital Paediatric unit, Valencia (Spain)
- Marijke Gordijn, Ph.D., Department of Chronobiology, University of Groningen (The Netherlands)
- Inge Declercq, M.D., Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre, Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium)
- Virginie Gabel, Ph.D., COMETE Laboratory, University of Caen, Normandy (France)
- Cátia Reis, Ph.D., Environmental Health Institute (ISAMB), Medicine Faculty, Lisbon University (Portugal)
- Teresa Paiva, Ph.D., Environmental Health Institute (ISAMB), Medicine Faculty, Lisbon University (Portugal)
- Anna Wirz-Justice, Ph.D., Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric Clinics, University of Basel (Switzerland)
- Johan Verbraecken, Ph.D., Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre, Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium)
- Bertus van der Horst, Ph.D., Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
- Roelof Hut, Ph.D., Department of Chronobiology, University of Groningen (The Netherlands)
- Karin van Rijn, M.Sc., Sleep-Wake Center SEIN, Zwolle (The Netherlands)
- Toine Schoutens, founder of Chrono Eyewear and FluxPlus light therapy, Tilburg (The Netherlands)
- Ilse De Volder, M.D., Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Centre, Antwerp University Hospital (Belgium)
- Merijn van de Laar, Ph.D., Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University Maastricht (The Netherlands)
If you are a researcher on a field related to clock changes and its impact, and you would like to endorse our proposal, please contact us at email@example.com.