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Document 52000PC0302

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on summer-time arrangements

/* COM/2000/0302 final - COD 2000/0140 */

OJ C 337E , 28.11.2000, p. 136–137 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on summer-time arrangements /* COM/2000/0302 final - COD 2000/0140 */

Official Journal C 337 E , 28/11/2000 P. 0136 - 0137

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on summer-time arrangements

(presented by the Commission)


1. General

1. Most of the Member States introduced summer time during the 1970s, while others had taken such action much earlier for periods of greater or lesser length.

The (first) Council Directive of 22 July 1980 on summer-time arrangements [1] took effect in 1981. Its sole aim was gradually to harmonise the dates on which summer time began and ended. The Community laws harmonising summer time stem from the need to remove the barriers to the free movement of goods, services and persons that the differing national summer-time arrangements could raise.

[1] OJ L 205, 7.8.1980, p. 17.

2. The first Directive did not achieve that aim entirely since only the starting date was harmonised in all of the Member States. The subsequent Directives laid down two finishing dates: the last Sunday in September in the continental Member States and the fourth Sunday in October for Ireland and the United Kingdom. The timetable for summer time was fully and finally harmonised when the Seventh Directive - 94/21/EC of 30 May 1994 [2] was adopted. This provided for common starting and ending dates for summer time in all of the Member States without exception, beginning in 1996. Finally the Eighth Directive - 97/44/EC [3] - of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 1997 extended the arrangements under the Seventh Directive for a period of four years (1998-2001 inclusive). Consequently summer time begins on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October throughout the European Union without exception.

[2] OJ L 164, 30.6.1994, p. 1.

[3] OJ L 206, 1.8.1997, p. 62.

3. When the Member States adopted the 8th Directive after thorough legal consultation and extensive discussion they refused, by a very broad majority, to include an exemption in the Directive that allowed one Member State not to apply the summer-time arrangements. In so doing they felt that the Community Directive was binding in its entirety and that it required the application, at one and the same time, of summer-time arrangements and a common timetable for the dates and times when summer-time arrangements must begin and end.

2. Study of the implications of summer time within the European Union

When the Eighth Directive was adopted the Commission committed itself to a thorough examination of the implications of summer time in the Member States of the European Union.

A wide-ranging study was carried out by an independent consultant selected after a call for proposals had been published in the Official Journal of the European Communities [4]. The task of the consultant appointed, Research voor Beleid International (RvB), was to take account of the various existing studies and the conclusions reached by reports on the matter at both Community and national levels, to question experts in the various areas concerned in order to put forward conclusions, and to submit recommendations on the basis of the analyses and investigations carried out. The study was to be restricted solely to the effects and implications of summer time, while its aim was not to examine the composition of, or any changes to, the time zones spanning Europe, and it certainly was not aimed at introducing one time throughout the European Union. The study thus concentrated on researching, identifying and evaluating the positive and negative economic and social implications of the summer-time arrangements in all of the main economic sectors involved, such as agriculture, industry, trade, banking, public health, transport, road safety and recreation and tourism. The study also examined the timetabling situation caused by the application of summer time in each of the Member States, with particular attention being paid to those countries where the timing arrangements were different from those in the time zone within which they were located. The national authorities concerned, and also the representatives both of the circles concerned and of the various associations favouring and opposing summer-time arrangements were closely associated with the various stages of the work. Finally, the results on the draft final report were presented in detail in Brussels on 4 March 1999, during which the consultant provided the national experts with the precise information that they had sought. The comments passed on by the national authorities enabled the consultant to hand over a final report at the end of June 1999. Both the detailed report and the analytical summary were sent to all of the Community's institutions, to the Member States and to any third countries involved, not to mention the bodies representing activity areas, and associations.

[4] Supplement to the OJ S 3, 6.1.1998, p. 22.

The results of the sector studies examined not only as part of the RvB study, but also those of the previous studies conducted for the Commission, together with the answers supplied by the (various) sectors often point to differences as regards the impact of the summer-time arrangements resulting from countries' geographical locations and the importance of time in any sector of activity examined. Hence the difficulty in reaching universal, clear-cut conclusions. This is the reason why this paper is providing a summary of the report's conclusions regarding the sectors considered to be the most important, and is concentrating more particularly on the work appearing likely to add to, or perceptibly to improve, the information on the matter as a result of their relevance, exhaustive nature and/or novelty. It should also be stressed that the comments made throughout this paper are also based on information provided both by the Member States and by the activity sectors and bodies concerned. The various consultations and hearings held in this connection in recent years gave the representatives of the various activity centres and associations both favouring and opposing summer-time arrangements the opportunity to express their views and communicate with not only the Commission but also all of the Member States with regard to the problems encountered and the solutions to be applied.

3. The impact of summer-time arrangements on the activity sectors

3.1. Agriculture

Despite the conclusions drawn from previous studies of agriculture answers to the questionnaire and the opinion formulated by the associations, the absence of detailed data does not permit a conclusion to be drawn with certainty that negative or positive effects predominate in this area. In addition the low response rate to the questionnaire sent by the consultant would seem to indicate that the matter aroused only limited interest among the representatives of the professional bodies. A detailed analysis of the replies suggests that the major concern centred upon animal welfare and farmers' working conditions. Opponents of summer-time arrangements object to the disruption of both human and animal biorhythms. They also deplore the difficult working conditions of people who are forced to start their morning work in the dark when the time is adjusted, or have to work during the hottest part of the day, or have to displace their working period towards the evening and be unable to enjoy any leisure time together with their families. Conversely proponents of the arrangement mention that both human beings and animals adjust completely within a few days. However, specific aspects have been noted at national level. Thus it has apparently been noted that in Austria altering the time is likely to cause infections in dairy cows suffering from late milking, which reduces milk production. Conversely most of the bodies consulted in Germany felt that bringing milking times forward had a negative impact not on animal health, but solely on workers required to rise earlier in order not to disrupt animal biorhythms. In the United Kingdom the greatest opposition was voiced in Scotland since the effects of putting the clocks forward were felt more keenly in that country owing to its northerly position. Detractors more particularly reported a higher risk of accidents for farmers who were forced to drive their machinery on poorly lit or unlit roads when the time was adjusted. In France several studies complained of an adverse impact on, in particular, animal biorhythms and those of the staff tending the same animals, together with the adverse effects on leisure and family life mentioned above. That view was shared by various anti-summer-time associations. Conversely it would seem that the matter evokes no particular reaction in any other country. In the Union's southerly countries, where work in the fields traditionally begins early in the morning, the extra hour in the light is appreciated since other activities can be performed at the end of the afternoon.

The surveys and studies carried out in this sector show that techniques and ways of thinking have altered here. Thus mechanisation has enabled farming to be less labour intensive and the use of intensive systems has boosted farm and dairy output. Technological improvements have thus permitted a better division of labour, while the increase in productivity has led to shifts in the organisation and time needed in order to carry out agricultural activities. The absence of any true epidemiology at European level does not enable any clear, definitive conclusions to be drawn with regard to the rearing of dairy cattle. In general terms animals and human beings are so able to adapt that any disturbances caused are reversible and transitory. Finally, in terms of the social aspect in the true sense of the term it must be noted that working in the fields is first and foremost subject to the need to bring crops to maturity and to the vagaries of the weather, plus the need to write off the hire of machinery by putting this to maximum use. For all of these reasons farmers have to work at a moment's notice throughout the day, and even late into the evening, at weekends and on holidays, regardless of the timing arrangements in force. Finally, it is interesting to note that, for the first time, a positive impact has been reported by wine producers, more particularly in Austria, who have expressed their satisfaction at being able to harvest in natural light an hour later in the evening, even as late as October.

3.2. The environment

Even though summer time does not have a direct impact on the environment there is good reason to monitor its indirect effects. In general terms the upturn in economic activity in Europe has expressed itself as a simultaneous increase in both mobility and pollution. The resultant problem is without doubt that of ozone generation. Scientists agree on the part played by pollutants from motor vehicles and those that are due to solar radiation. Thus motor vehicle emissions cause ozone to form as a reaction to solar radiation. The time at which pollutants are emitted may cause a difference in the way photo-chemical oxidants are formed at the source of ozone production. Some studies have attempted to identify the relationship between summer time and the formation of ozone. One of these - the most specific - was conducted for the Commission by SGS/ECOCARE in 1991 [5]. It concerns the effects of summer time on the formation of photo-oxidants such as ozone and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN), among others. It was noted that shifting the hour at which emission peaks take place in relation to the intensity of the solar radiation peak may cause differences in terms of photo-oxidant formation. Ozone is due to the combined effect of solar radiation and the presence of nitrogen oxides (NO) and hydrocarbons (HC). Considerable ozone production was noted in areas where there was an excess of nitrogen. Reducing the NO2 content will not necessarily reduce ozone production, but on the other hand reducing the amount of hydrocarbons will do so. Ozone concentrations are at their lowest during the night. Motor vehicle use increases the amounts of NO and HC. Nitrogen oxide NO is converted into NO2 by sunlight. When the amount of NO2 is at its highest ozone formation increases towards a peak between 1400 and 1700 hours. Ozone concentrations begin to fall around 17-1800 hours. This process is affected by, among other things, wind, temperature and solar radiation. ECOCARE refers to the Cohen study (Systems Application Inc.) [6] carried out in the United States in 1990. This showed that time changes had had no significant impact on ozone concentrations in most of the areas studied, apart from Los Angeles. Simulations for Europe using the PHOXA model developed by Cohen showed that differences in ozone concentration levels between the periods with and without summer-time arrangements were exceedingly slight and were considered to be insignificant. The use of another model called LOTOS to analyse ozone formation throughout Europe has enabled extremely slight differences to be recorded between the calculations carried out for periods with and without summer-time arrangements. ECOCARE concluded, in particular, that the time had no significant impact, at least on a major part of Europe.

[5] SGS/ECOCARE, The influence of summer time on photochemical oxidant formation, 1991.

[6] Cohen, J., Systems Applications Inc., A Statistical analysis of the effect of time-shifting automobile emissions on ambient ozone concentrations, San Rafael CA United States; 1990.

Few detailed scientific studies on the matter have been carried out at national level and the conclusions reached differ widely from one school and country to another. Only Belgium, France, Germany and Greece seem to have studied the phenomenon specifically in connection with summer time.

The study conducted in Belgium in 1991 [7] by Dr Hecq from Brussels Free University was based on the hypothesis that summer-time arrangements which extended recreational facilities led to an increase in mobility. Hecq deduced from this that an additional hour of daylight caused traffic to increase, while temperature and weather conditions also had a significant impact on traffic density. The study concluded by stating that emissions of primary pollutants such as nitrogen oxide (NOX) and of volatile organic compounds (VOC) arising from increased mobility had little effect on ozone levels and that consequently an average increase in ozone concentration peaks of about 3.3% would be recorded. The PAN emission concentration peaks would increase by an average of 6.2%.

[7] Hecq, Dr. Walter, Effets du décalage horaire sur la consommation d'énergie et la pollution photo-oxydante par les véhicules en Belgique, Centre d'économie politique de l'Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1991.

Two studies in France conclude that summer time does have an impact on pollutant formation. The first, by Dechaux [8], conducted for the French Air Quality Agency noted an average increase in ozone of 10% throughout the country, the level being higher in Paris. The study stated that PAN levels had risen by almost 15%. However, it was noted that this gas formed later during the summer-time period and that this would reduce the accumulation of ozone. The Nollet study [9] concluded clearly that ozone increased by 10% and photo-oxidants by 88%, whereas the hour of sunshine would reduce O3 by 10% and photo-oxidants by 51%.

[8] Dechaux, Coddeville, Etude sur modèle de l'influence de l'heure d'été sur la pollution photo-oxydante, Agence française pour la Qualité de l'Air, 1986.

[9] Nollet, Simulation numérique des facteurs validants pour la formation des polluants photochimiques de la troposphère. Application à la conception de nouveaux types de stratégies de contrôle, Université des sciences et technologies de Lille, 1992.

Conversely the work carried out in Germany and Greece comes out in favour of summer time. Indeed, according to the Federal German Minister for the Environment journeys made during the evening make no contribution to ozone formation since the solar radiation is of low intensity. Moreover he states that the pollution from passenger cars reduces ozone concentrations, since the O3 molecules are broken down by vehicle emissions. That aspect has been confirmed by the Federal Environment Agency in Berlin which, moreover, stresses the fact that vehicle emissions caused by morning traffic have an hour longer in which to disperse before the sun reaches its zenith.

Since it must deal with major pollution problems Greece has since 1994 been operating an interesting staggered working hours system that is divided up into activity sectors, but solely during the summer months of June-September inclusive. Staggered timetabling has a beneficial effect on both congestion and air pollution. That said the absence of summer time in Greece would mean shifting the morning traffic peak hour towards a time when UV radiation is at its most intense. A study of air pollution in Athens was able to show that air quality depended not only on pollution volume, but also on weather conditions and that the effects of staggered (working) hours applied to the two subsequent hours. This complicated the measurements and, finally, it was also shown that staggered working hours were also beneficial in that they spread the impact of pollution over longer periods during the morning and afternoon. For all of the above reasons it would seem that summer-time arrangements are well matched to Greek reality, at least in environmental terms.

It nevertheless emerges from the activity reports that the processes underlying the effects produced by pollution are still not well understood. Therefore, at the present state of the art and know-how it seems difficult, if not impossible, to draw valid, universal conclusions as regards any direct impact of summer time on the environment.

3.3. Energy

It should be borne it mind that the main reason given for introducing summer time had originally been in order to save energy. The study has the virtue of surveying a large number of activities carried out in the Member States over different periods. Most of them revealed energy savings, albeit relatively modest savings of roughly 0-0.5%. Nevertheless a difficulty was noted in drawing a distinction between savings expressed in relation to total electricity consumption and those made in relation to total energy consumption.

Of the most significant studies, that conducted by Dr Hecq [10], as referred to in item 3.2.- environment - concluded that the relatively insignificant energy savings had been greatly offset by the additional fuel consumption caused by the increase in evening traffic. Dr Hecq commented, with regard to electricity consumption, that the effect of summer time on consumption peaks tended to diminish with the development of new technologies and the growing use of low-consumption light bulbs. He considered the energy saving to be 0-1%. That argument was taken up by certain associations opposing summer-time arrangements, which also stressed that the evaluations took no account of the additional energy consumed by the growing use of air conditioning systems, more particularly in the southerly countries, nor of that accounted for by heating in the morning during the period following the time shift in the spring.

[10] See footnote 7.

Similarly, in Germany the most important study was conducted in this area by Dr Bouillon [11]. This pointed to a failure to save energy in that the proportion of energy used for lighting purposes had shrunk substantially, and had fallen in particular, from 25% in 1960 to 10% in 1983, whereas consumption had doubled during that same period. It was found that in 1980 overall electricity consumption had been reduced by 1,8% as a result of summer time. It was reported that a saving of 121 kW had been made per household, or in other words the energy consumed by two 60 W lamps being lit for an hour. In view of the extra consumption for heating purposes during the cold morning there was only a saving of roughly 0.1 per mil (i.e. 234 GWh) which is utterly insignificant.

[11] Bouillon, Mikro- und Makroanalyse der Auswirkungen der Sommerzeit auf den Energie-Leistungsbedarf, IFR Schriftenreihe 13 (Dissertation TU München), 1983.

Conversely, in France, the ADEME - the French Energy Management Agency - estimated in 1995 that as a result of summer time 1200 GWh of energy were saved, or in other words 267 000 tonnes of oil equivalent, representing 4% of the energy consumed by lighting and 0.4% of total energy consumption in France that year. In 1996 the saving had risen by 10%, and slightly exceeded 1300 GWh as a result of postponing the time adjustment until the end of October. These figures relate solely to lighting since, according to that body, heating energy consumption is not likely to be affected. Finally, the Agency stated that the various types of primary energy saving were broken down as follows: nuclear 5%, coal 75% and fuel oil 20%.

In Greece, where energy consumption is closely linked with the demand for the electricity used to light dwellings, summer time brings benefits in that the population is used to going to bed late and rising early. However, high energy consumption is reported since air conditioning is widely used, more particularly in offices. However, owing to the law on staggered working hours, electricity consumption is more evenly spread throughout the working day. Furthermore the good weather conditions mean that the population spends more time in the open air, and so households consume less electricity, more especially in the evening and on holidays. It is nevertheless very difficult precisely to assess the energy savings actually achieved in all sectors.

In Italy, the ENEL (Ente nazionale per l'energia elettrica), the national electricity authority, had stated, in turn, that summer time enabled some EUR 126 million to be saved annually. This represented an estimated energy saving of 0.3% of national consumption. The Bellerè [12] report insisted in 1996 that summer time was important in enabling Italy to make energy savings, in that same year estimated at 900 million kWh or 0.4% of domestic needs.

[12] Bellerè, R., Rapport sur la proposition de huitième directive du Parlement européen et du Conseil concernant les dispositions relatives à l'heure d'été, Parlement européen, Commission des transports et du tourisme, PE 218.712/def., 1996.

However, the consultant concluded that it was difficult to estimate the impact of energy savings in monetary terms. On the basis of the annual estimated consumption in the Netherlands of 180 000 GWh, the consultant extrapolated that figure to a European level, using the number of inhabitants, in order to produce an estimate of 3.5-4.5 million GWh per year, subject to the margins of error inherent in that type of calculation. Since the average cost per kWh was roughly EUR 0.2 the consultant estimated that total spending on energy consumption lay between EUR 700 000- and EUR 900 000 million. The energy saving was on average 0.3% and the savings in monetary terms would thus lie between EUR 2.100 and 2.700 million per year. However, in view of the need to deduct the added cost of the increase in the energy consumed by heating during the morning when the time is adjusted, and the higher fuel consumption caused by the increase in traffic for leisure purposes, the saving is stated to have been reduced to EUR 800 million per year. Once the cost of the additional fuel consumption by vehicles has been deducted the estimated saving is roughly EUR 200 million per year for the Union as a whole. In view of the number of hypotheses examined, and on which the estimates are based, it clearly does not seem possible to achieve results that offer genuine reliability and accuracy. Therefore this figure has only been supplied for illustrative purposes.

3.4. Health

Health is without doubt one of the areas where summer-time arrangements have prompted lively discussions between the proponents and opponents of the system, and continue to do so. The study took pains to describe the most recent situation as regards this matter, if possible in every country. It will be noted in this connection that, yet again, the largest number of studies were recorded in those countries where it has sparked a lively debate.

Biorhythm and sleep

Traditionally summer time is accused of altering biorhythms and affecting sleep, more particularly that of children, adolescents and old persons. There is an abundant literature on this subject.

The Beauvais [13] study carried out for the Commission in 1990 had (a) noted an increase in the number of visits to the doctor during the two to three weeks following the time shift and (b) noted that the latter had required less adjustment in the autumn. Moreover the study had noted a slight percentage increase in the consumption of tranquillisers or sedatives, whereas there was a downward trend in the consumption of other medicines. It concluded that there were no serious consequences in terms of health and that the human problems experienced were temporary and utterly reversible. Other studies or activities, such as those conducted by Reinberg, a chronobiologist at the CNRS [14] or by Dr. Valtax for the Lyon Academy [15], in France, and the Hasselkuss [16] study in Germany reached conclusions similar to those of the Beauvais study. Thus between one and seven days were needed for time of awakening, temperature, waking up itself and sleep quality to adjust to the new arrangement. Generally speaking the disturbances disappeared after one or two weeks.

[13] Beauvais Consultants, Impact de l'heure d'été sur la santé, Paris, 1990.

[14] Reinberg, Labreque, Smolensky, Chronobiologie et chronothérapeutique, Médecine-Sciences, 1991.

[15] Valtax, Une enquête réalisée dans l'Académie de Lyon dont les résultats devraient permettre de mieux comprendre le comportement de certains de nos élèves, Académie de Lyon, 1988.

[16] Hasselkuss, W., Sozialmedizinische Auswirkungen der Umstellung auf die Sommerzeit, in Prävention. III, 1980.

Dr. Kerkhof [17], a chronobiologist at the University of Leyden in the Netherlands decided to study the significance of sleep in accidents between 1989 and 1995. He reported that 6% of accidents could be ascribed to sleep, while that percentage could rise to 24% during the night. In view of the finding that modern men sleep less and less and acquire a sleep deficit during the week which they attempt to offset by lying in at the weekend, Dr. Kerkhof deduced that the spring and autumn time shifts constituted a further factor. Although it is possible easily to wake up and get out of bed at a different time that does not apply to falling asleep. This is regulated by what we now call our internal biological clock i.e. the circadian rhythms. That clock imposes a timetable on all sorts of inner processes and its cycle lasts roughly 25 hours, which means that it must catch up on an hour per day. Thus, on the Monday following a weekend more than an hour needs to be regained since the time of falling asleep and that of waking up are delayed during the weekend. Kerkhof maintains that, where the mutual relationship between the various signals (light, work, meals, etc. ...) is rearranged, one's internal clock is disturbed and it takes several days to adapt to the new situation, which can have a brief adverse impact on alertness and mood. Analysis did not enable this theory to be checked. The data concerning accidents did not point to any significant increase in the total number of accidents following the spring time shift. However, if account is taken of accident causes for the same period the percentage of accidents due to falling asleep was clearly high. The opposite effect was noted when the autumn time shift took place.

[17] Kerkhof, Sleepy into summer, Département de Psychologie, Université de Leyde, 1995.

Finally, as regards sleep, German researchers [18] noted that it was shiftworkers who complained most of feeling tired in the morning. The cohort which should benefit most from summer time because of lighter evenings, namely the morning shift, seems to experience the most serious difficulties.

[18] Knauth, P. u.a., Einstellung von Schichtarbeitern zur Sommereinstellung, in Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft XXXVI, 1982.

Effect on melatonin formation

Recently new studies have emerged which highlight the essential part played by melatonin in the functioning of sleep. That hormone regulates sleep in a way that enables us to wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night. It reacts to alternating day/night. At night there is 5-10 times as much melatonin as during the day. The secretion of that hormone begins around 9.30 p.m. in winter and 11.30 p.m. in summer ("solar time"), reaches its maximum at 2 or 3 a.m. and falls to its normal daily level around 7 a.m. Under summer-time arrangements that process begins an hour later, or even two hours later in countries such as Spain, France and the Netherlands, which are out of step with the natural time zone by one hour. That situation would explain the sleeping difficulties occurring in summer. Since the waking hour remains unchanged the level of melatonin is still high towards seven o'clock in the morning (5 o'clock solar time in the countries referred to), which causes some sleepiness and a lack of concentration which are likely to have an impact on intellectual performance not only at work or school, but also in terms of road safety. That argument is largely supported by the ACHE [19] and the Belgian Anti-Summer-Time Association.

[19] Gabarain, E., La situation de l'heure légale dans la problématique des horaires et rythmes scolaires, ACHE, 1995.

Visits to the doctor and consumption of medicines

At the time the Beauvais [20] study analysed the number of visits to the doctor during the weeks surrounding the spring and autumn time shifts. A peak 10.9% higher than the average in the spring and of 8.5% in the autumn was recorded during the two or three weeks following the time shift. As a general rule the time shift seemed to be better received in autumn than in the spring time. The same applies to the Dutch data provided by the NIVEL (Nederlands Instituut voor Onderzoek van de Gezondheitszorg), the Dutch Institute for Healthcare Research, were analysed to cover two periods adjoining the spring changeover between the 1 and 18 April and the autumn changeover between 6 September and 17 October 1987. A slight increase in the number of visits to the doctor, i.e. +2.42%, was noted. It would seem that, as a reason for medical appointments, sleeping problems were more frequent in the spring. This was apparently confirmed by increases in the number of sedatives and antidepressants prescribed by roughly 12.72% and 11.11% respectively.

[20] See footnote 13.

Mental health and mood

Certain reports cover a "seasonal affective disorder" (SAD) afflicting part of the population during the winter months. That disorder appears to be caused by inadequate light stimulation of the hypothalamus, which could cause sleeping difficulties, symptoms of depression and a significant change in melatonin secretion levels. Recent works have stressed the importance of light for health and well being. Research into SAD and its treatment by daylight substitutes has been carried out at Frederiksberg [21] Hospital. It would seem that light is of particular significance in the Nordic and Scandinavian countries where the summers are typically very bright, but the winters are dark. In Finland work has pinpointed the positive effect of light on sleep quality [22]. Thus summer time, which offers an extra hour of lightness in the evening, would be of benefit in this respect.

[21] Dam, Henrik, Vinterdepressioner, Praksis Sektoren, 5, 1995, pp. 13-14.

[22] Ruosteenoja, Kimmo, unpublished paper, 1998.

Physical health

Specialists point out that sunlight boosts the synthesis of vitamin D and helps to cure certain skin diseases. They thus comment that summer time has a beneficial effect since it offers scope for longer exposure to sunlight and to light at the end of the day. Moreover, the ADAS [23] study had already reported on several activities stressing that more open air sports were played during the summer-time period. These are particularly effective weapons against the adverse effects of stress, sedentary lifestyles and in preventing, in particular, adult and child obesity and cardio-vascular disorders. That set of arguments is shared by specialists from the Nordic countries who insist on the importance of the extra hour of daylight which can be used for open air activities in countries where climatic conditions make it impossible for a sizeable part of the year.

[23] ADAS, Summer time in Europe, Guildford, 1995.

Although they note the large number of possible effects of summer time, most being connected with difficulties in adaptation by the human body, specialists recognise that, at the current state of research and know-how in this area, most of the difficulties experienced are of short duration and are not a health hazard owing to their complete reversibility.

3.5. Leisure and tourism

In view of the geographical and climatic conditions the northerly countries offering no scope for outside activities in winter derive maximum benefit from that opportunity in summer. The southerly countries, in turn, appreciate the fact that their extra hours' daylight at the end of the day enables them to go out as the air is beginning to cool down. Thus the extra evening daylight provided by summer time may benefit both leisure activities and tourism.

At the time, and on the basis of the increase in the extra hours of daylight available for leisure activities that was judged to be 25 and 30% in the United Kingdom, the ADAS [24] study concluded that summer time fostered more sporting and open-air activities. That assertion was shared by the French Ministry for Physical Education and Sport, which pointed to an increase in sporting activities following the spring time shift. The French pro-summer time association "Liberté Soleil" [25], polled the various national sporting federations on this matter and then stated, in particular, that, according to the estimates provided by the French Tennis Federation, the cancellation of summer time would reduce the amount of tennis played by 6 million hours per year. Finally, when the Commission held a hearing in 1993 the AIT/FIA, representing both tourist and motoring organisations, had stated that summer time promoted not only open air sporting activities, but also tourism during both the short and long holiday periods, and reported a slight drop in the number of road traffic accidents for a few weeks in the autumn and in spring.

[24] See footnote 23.

[25] Polo, Jean-François, L'heure d'été, une idée lumineuse, Liberté soleil, Paris.

Conversely although the ACHE [26] does not challenge the positive effect on evening sporting activities, it notes that this applies solely to week days. It feels that summer time would have the drawback of preventing sports or other leisure activities early in the morning in spring, during the hot afternoon periods in summer, or indeed of slowing down certain activities, such as open-air evening entertainments in the summer, or making these more difficult because of the excessive daylight. The ACHE thus felt that the number of beneficial and detrimental days, which completely cancel each other out, leads the ACHE to conclude that summer time has no beneficial effect. Moreover the ACHE points out that most relaxation and leisure facilities (restaurants, entertainments, etc. ...) close earlier without taking account of the extra hour of daylight. Finally, the summer-time arrangement which causes fatigue because of a lack of sleep during the week would cause people to sleep longer at the weekend and thus to lose precious leisure time. Again the ACHE states that summer time has an adverse effect on the working conditions of staff employed in tourism, and more particularly hotels and restaurants, where certain complain about late visits to restaurants by customers who force staff to work longer. Finally, the Belgian Anti-Summer-Time Association and the French Association for the Return to Meridian Time comment that it would be better judged if summer working hours were altered rather than the time as such, an option which, in their view, would be better matched to everyone's needs and would have the advantage of countering the adverse effects of summer time.

[26] Gabarain, E, Effets de l'heure avancée sur les loisirs et le tourisme, France, 1998.

It is surprising to note that, in practical terms, there have been no studies at national level on the impact of summer time on leisure and tourism. The consultant was therefore forced to consult a series of differing works which for the most part provide very little, or even no, economic data. Thus a survey [27] launched in Denmark by the Danish Tourist Office in 1992 showed that tourists seemed increasingly to prefer "active" holidays involving greater use of natural resources, and cultural and commercial services. More daylight enables tourists to gain more benefit from nature and the services made available to them. Unfortunately the survey does not provide any precise information on the importance of daylight with regard to behaviour, particularly in terms of spending.

[27] Danmarks Statistik et al, Fælles fodslag, Turisme, miljø, planlægning, København, 1992.

In Finland Dr. Kimmo Ruosteenoja conducted a study [28] based on calculating the angle of the sun at various points of the globe at different times. This enabled him to calculate the number of hours of leisure available before sunset both with and without summer time. The calculation assumed that Finland would adopt CET throughout the year, which would have the same implications as abandoning summer time in summer, and the opposite effect in winter. The author evaluated an average of 60 hours of leisure per week in respect of a normal population. He noted a loss of leisure time before sunset that was equal to 3.3 weeks for the Helsinki region, 2.8 weeks for the Oulu region and 2.3 weeks for Kittilä, which is yet further north. July was considered to be a holiday month and was not included in the calculations. On the basis of that analysis Ruosteenoja calculated the difference in leisure periods in natural light both with and without summer time. The calculations produced a difference ranging from 10% (in the north) to 13% (in the south) favouring summer time. Finally, Mr Ilkanen, in charge of the Finnish Tourist Office in Helsinki, stressed that the most important factor to harmonise the timetable for the summer-time period, while insisting on the wider scope for leisure in full daylight during the evening. A 1962 report [29] in Sweden had reached similar conclusions. It noted an increase in the number of daylight hours during the evening of 40% in the south, 30% in the centre and 22-24% in the north.

[28] See footnote 22.

[29] Nordiska utredningar, Sommertid :Svensk utredning och norsk stortingsdebatt, Nordisk utredningsserie 5 p. 40, 1962.

In Germany representative bodies such as the Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus (German Tourist Centre), the ADAC (the German Automobile Association) and Ameropa expressed a positive opinion owing, basically, to the additional daylight in the evening which promoted leisure and sports, while offering more scope for time with families or friends after work, and also for making short trips. Only the hotels and restaurants sector (HORECA) seems to dissent. Its opposition is basically due to the fact that in certain German towns open-air pubs ("Biergärten") are required to close at 22.00 hours in order to avoid any noise which may disturb the neighbourhood. However, customers tend to go out later during summer time - around 9 p.m. - which gives them less drinking time and may ultimately have an adverse economic effect on this sector. Mr Hammermeister, the head of the Westphalian sector's federation, which objects to that situation, is not opposed to summer time, but has, on the other hand, expressed his support for liberalising opening hours in this sector in order to offset the negative effects mentioned.

The Gonnot [30] report in France mentioned the negative reaction by the French Confederation of hotel, restaurant, bar and discotheque owners, which was solely due to difficulties in managing staff timetables. The staggered, late arrival of their customers is claimed to extend duty hours and thus to cause non-compliance with the timetabling requirements of the Labour Code. Similar criticisms had been noted in Portugal when that country changed its legal time from GMT to GMT+1.

[30] Gonnot, François-Michel, Changement d'heure: l'heure du changement, Rapport au Premier Ministre, France, 1996.

Despite the absence of any study on this matter, backed up by figures, Greece, among all of the Union's southerly countries, nevertheless provided a certain number of interesting comments on the implications of summer time in terms of leisure and tourism. In a letter to the Minister for Development in 1997 the Piraeus Chamber of Trade set out the reasons why summer time should not be cancelled: the reduced amount of daylight available at the end of the day indeed threatened to reduce the scope for visits and thus curtail tourist trips, to cause coordination problems for charter-flight arrivals, more particularly at the small airports on the Greek islands, which would increase costs, and finally to limit the opening hours of shops, museums and archaeological sites. The same arguments were set out in a letter in support of retaining summer time sent by the Union of Passenger Ship Owners to the Greek Minister for the National Economy in 1997.

In addition the estimate made at the consultant's request by the Dutch Employers' Association, the Verbond van Nederlandse Ondernemingen VNO-NCW, produced more recent figures than those produced by the PSI (Policy Studies Institute) in the 80s. Thus, it is stated that summer time would increase the time when leisure facilities were open by 10%, together with a 5% increase in visitors. The resultant additional turnover would thus amount to roughly EUR 22.5 million per year, or 5% of entrance fees. The turnover of restaurants and hotels would increase by 5%. It is also stated that this would represent a significant addition that is estimated at EUR 13.5 million. As a final point, the sector as a whole would grow by 3% and thus create 500 extra jobs.

Finally the consultant reported on the conclusions voiced at a meeting of many representatives of the German HORECA trade in Cologne in October 1998. Those present reported unanimously that they had noted a distinct shift in lifestyles over the last 20 years. The public would seem to get up and go to bed later than in 1978, the difference being even more marked as compared with 1958. Among the reasons given for that confirmed trend the hotel trade mentioned, in particular, summer time, the later timetabling in the services sector (banks, shops, etc. ...) which employed more staff than the traditional sectors of industry and agriculture, where the working times were scheduled for much earlier, moving shop closing to 8 p.m. as opposed to 6.30 p.m. twenty years ago, the rise in the student population, which tends to go out later, the much later shutting down of television programmes, or even in certain cases their being continued throughout the night, the growing number of trips abroad which have enabled Germans to become used to a "Italian or Spanish-style" nightlife which encourages them to go to bed later, and finally the demographic shift marked by (a) an increase in the number of persons living alone, and (b) childless households.

Finally, in the absence of economic data backed by figures, the answers to the questionnaire nevertheless provide a basis for assessing summer time. Thus, 84% of the representatives of the tourism and leisure industry felt that darker mornings have no significant impact, whereas 62% of these felt that lighter evenings had a highly positive impact. Finally, as regards the most appropriate period, 58% favoured March to October, as is currently the case.

3.6. Road safety

Of all of the aspects to be taken into account when assessing any potential impact of summer-time road safety is without any doubt one of the most important. It is nevertheless regrettable that it has not been possible to draw conclusions for the entire European Union owing to a lack of comparable data. Indeed research carried out using the CARE database (Community data base on Road-Traffic Accidents in Europe) on the number of traffic accidents proved to be extremely complicated. It was thus not possible to relate accident data to traffic density or to weather conditions since CARE can only provide weekly data per country and daily data for a group of ten countries. Consequently, since it is impossible to draw reliable universal conclusions only certain results - available at national level - were taken into account in the study.

The study previously carried out for the Commission by the ADAS [31] had produced a model at European level by analysing the results when the United Kingdom applied British Standard Time (BST) between 1968 and 1971. At the time, the increase in the number of morning accidents was offset by a decrease in the evening which reduced the total number of accidents. However, the ADAS had pointed to the difficulty, in this connection, in transposing that statistical model to the situation in other Member States, partly owing to a differing time-shift option, the GMT option + summer time in relation to GMT throughout the year not having been examined in the case of the United Kingdom. The ACHE commented here that the studies carried out in the United Kingdom related solely to putting the clocks forward in winter and not doing so in summer, since the United Kingdom had always applied GMT + 1 in summer and GMT in winter, except in 1969-71. According to the ACHE calculating accidents by modelling where "double" summer time is introduced, with GMT + 1 in winter and GMT + 2 in summer could not be validated for summer time with GMT + 2, since the GMT + 2 system had never been applied in the United Kingdom.

[31] See footnote 23.

The ACHE itself had carried out a study, at national level, of trends in road-traffic accidents in France [32] based on data produced by the national road safety watchdog for 1993, 1994 and 1995, a period when summer time ended during the last week in September, and for 1996, 1997 and 1998, when summer time ended on the last Sunday in October. An analysis revealed that, in 1996, the number of accidents had only fallen by 3.9% compared with 1995 and that, in particular, the reduction in October 1996 had only been 1.9% as compared with 1995. In addition the total reduction in 1997 had been 5% as compared with 1995, whereas an increase of 1.7% had been recorded for October during that period. Those results would seem to indicate that the October timeshift has an adverse effect on road safety. Continuing the analysis for 1994-98, the ACHE study reports an increase in road deaths by eleven for the September-October-November period, whereas this is falling drastically during the three other quarters. The same applies to both serious and slight injuries. In addition a study conducted by Météo France-Lille for the ACHE pointed out that traffic had been slowed down for an hour longer by the morning fog (which forms at a maximum frequency around 5-6 a.m. GMT, i.e. towards 7-8 a.m. GMT + 2 in France) from the beginning of spring to the end of the summer. That situation would be likely to increase the likelihood of traffic jams and thus of accidents to an extent comparable with that in a situation where there has been no time shift.

[32] Gabarain, E., Effets possibles de l'heure d'été sur la sécurité routière, ACHE, France, 1998-99.

The De Brabander [33] study in Belgium examined the total number of accidents happening during both the day and night in Belgium, in 1976. Out of 63 500 accidents that year less than 1 000 took place between 3 and 7 a.m., with almost 6 000 between 5 and 6 p.m. Although when summer time was introduced an increase in the number of accidents had been recorded during the morning peak period, this was accompanied by a sharp drop in the number of accidents during the evening peak, except at weekends. In addition De Brabander looked at the total number of summer and winter accidents during the 1975-83 period. Basing himself on the average figures recorded in both winter and summer for the periods before and after the introduction of summer time, De Brabander concluded that the effect of summer time on the total number of accidents in Belgium was slight and that it had led to a reduction rather than an increase. However, he had not been able to establish that there had been any effect of summer time on the seriousness of accidents. Finally, the author admitted that it was difficult to compare those results with the action taken in other countries, since certain of these had no monthly accident statistics.

[33] De Brabander, Influence de l'horaire d'été sur les accidents routiers en Belgique, Fonds d'études pour la sécurité routière, 1985.

The Pfaff and Weber [34] study in Germany noted (a) an increase in the number of accidents in 1980, the year when summer time was introduced in that country, as compared with 1979, and (b) that accidents were taking place an hour later than during the previous year. The explanation was that the people concerned were tired because they had had to rise early but were going to bed later. Moreover, it is interesting to examine the data for 1997 [35] provided by the Federal Statistical Office since these enable a comparison to be made of the situations immediately surrounding the time shift on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the week before the change, that when the change takes place and, finally, a week later. The number of accidents a week after the change is perceptibly higher on a Monday and rises yet more steeply on the Tuesday immediately following the change. However, the Federal Office states that factors such as the state of the road and the weather conditions impinge much more on road safety than either daylight or darkness.

[34] Pfaff, G. u. Weber, E., Mehr Unfälle durch Sommerzeit- in International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1982.

[35] Statistisches Bundesamt, Fachserie 8, Reihe 7 Verkehrsunfälle 1997.

The National Roads Authority (NRA) in Ireland has produced an interesting analysis of accidents involving pedestrians [36]. The rate of accidents involving pedestrian deaths in Ireland is the third highest in Europe. As an illustration 130 out of 472 road traffic accident victims in 1997 were pedestrians. The 1996 study identified two periods during which there were more accidents: between 4 and 9 p.m. and between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.. The study reports on major seasonal variations since the number of fatalities during the first part of the time period is twice as high in winter than in summer, the age profile identifying a majority of young and elderly persons, while the number of accidents is in general constant per weekday. The NRA published a follow-up report in 1998 which contained a comparative analysis of a ten-year period (1988-97) that included data recorded in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. It emerged that 43% of pedestrians were killed between 4 and 10 p.m., and 27% between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. It was noted that the number of deaths varied widely depending upon the season, since in June and July the figure fell by 75% as compared with January and December. That major difference was due to variations in daylight between 4 and 10 p.m. throughout the year. The comparison with the UK and Northern Irish data shows, among other things, that there is a similar relationship between hours of daylight and the number of pedestrians killed between 4 and 10 p.m. In addition the number of casualties during the same period correlated closely with the amount of daylight. A drop of 45% in the number of casualties in June and July was reported as compared with December and January. That drop was of 22 and 26% in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland respectively. Those figures help to confirm the notion that the additional daylight at the end of the day help to improve road safety.

[36] Pedestrian Accidents 1996, National Roads Authority, RS 4356.

The experience gained in the Nordic countries shows that the likelihood of an accident is greater when it is dark at the end of an afternoon rather than in the morning. Statistics for Sweden show that 43% of accidents involving school children take place between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m., versus 6% between 6.00 and 8.00 a.m. A study carried out in 1980 [37] compared the accident rates and the distribution of traffic between 1979 and 1980, the year when summer time was introduced. The comparison - relating to the national highway network for 24 weeks from 6 April to 20 September - was based on traffic density and the number of accidents recorded by the police. Among the main conclusions noted at the time was a largely beneficial effect on road safety and a fall in the number of accidents involving animals by 15%. Moreover, that effect was more perceptible during the second part of the day, and at weekends.

[37] Lacko & Linderoth, Sommartid och trafiksäkerhet, Studier av olycks- och trafikutvecklingen, 1980.

Finally, it is more especially regrettable that there are no figures for the southerly countries where, it would appear, that no detailed analysis has been carried out on the matter. Therefore no complete overview of the situation can be provided. It should be stressed in conclusion, that, apart from the effects of daylight and darkness, other factors affect road safety, such as seasonal, weekly and monthly road traffic accident trends, changes in traffic composition during the evening, particularly owing to the increase in recreational journeys, and obviously by variations in weather conditions, when fog, ice or wet roads occur early in the morning, more particularly when the seasons change, and those that are due to more stringent laws requiring, for example, that all passengers wear safety belts, (blood) alcohol levels be lowered and motor cyclists keep their headlights switched on during the day.

3.7. Transport and communications

The harmonisation of summer-time arrangements arises from the need to remove barriers to the free movement of goods, services and persons and thus to promote the efficient operation of the internal market and, in particular of transport.

The study carried out by the David Simmonds Consultancy [38] (DSC) for the Commission in 1993 was intended to estimate the cost of having two different dates on which to end summer time. Several operators were consulted extensively on this occasion. They pointed to the extra work caused, for example, by the extra timetabling needed for all modes of transport, the costly negotiation of intermediate airline slots for a very limited period (less than a month) etc. The study had concluded that there was a need for complete harmonisation, particularly in view of the Channel Tunnel's opening and the placing in service of a new rail link between the continent and the United Kingdom.

[38] David Simmonds Consultancy, Summer time in the European Community - Evaluation of the costs of different dates for a return to winter time, 1993.

Most of the European countries had investigated any difficulties that might arise when summer time was introduced. The research for the study was unable to identify any new work on the subject at national level. Only the report passed on to the French Prime Minister by Mr Gonnot [39] in 1996 provided any recent information on the difficulties encountered in the transport sector on the assumption that France abandoned summer time, a unilateral act that would cause genuine "deharmonisation". Thus the report mentioned the need for Air France to renegotiate all of its slots outside its Paris hub, a complicated exercise in that the other European platforms are virtually saturated. In addition, with regard to the railways, the SNCF felt that part of the cost of rediagramming its transport services was an estimated FF 10 million (roughly EUR 1.52 million) per time shift and the extra cost of adopting a unilateral position by France at roughly FF 50 million (roughly EUR 7.62 million). That extra cost was caused by multiplying the transport diagrams after each time shift in the other Union countries was matched to the conditions in each of the countries neighbouring France. Finally, the Gonnot report mentioned the disruptions that were likely to affect road transport. Checking working hours in this sector would have been made difficult as a result of the difference in time between one check point and another. Nevertheless that difficulty could have been resolved by conducting checks in real time, taking GMT as the datum. Finally, the report did not fail also to point out the difficulties and in particular those in organising the transport operations of coach operators in frontier areas.

[39] See footnote 30.

The absence of recent activities at national and/or professional level tends to prove that the transport sector no longer experiences any difficulties in connection with time shifts, more especially since the timetable has applied to all Union countries, starting in 1996. Operators and representatives of trade bodies, at both national and European levels, have repeatedly expressed their attachment to a perfect harmonisation of summer-time arrangements on several occasions during hearings held by the Commission and/or interviews by the consultants. The summer-time arrangement, with its annual change, thus seems to have been fully established and accepted throughout the most directly concerned sector. Certain transport sectors would even like time, as such, to be harmonised at European level in order to make both air and sea travel between the continent and the British Isles easier but, as stated above, that aspect goes way beyond the powers of the Union since, by virtue of the subsidiarity principle, the time in force in each of the Member States is set as a result of a purely national decision.

4. Conclusion

1. In view of the effects of globalisation in all areas, and in particular on the model for western society, one could probably extrapolate the findings made in Germany on the changes in lifestyle concerning leisure and tourism in item 3.5 to the other European Union countries. Moreover, the gradual reduction in working hours over the last 30 years has provided the entire population of the European Union with further not inconsiderable leisure time which can be devoted still more to various activities at the end of the day. That summer time which enables all sorts of leisure activities to be performed under conditions of greater comfort, since they are in natural light, seem precisely to match the latest requirements of the new millennium's society. The safety aspect, which is a prime factor when assessing the quality of life, should also not be disregarded here, particularly in inner cities. At the time the ADAS [40] study had pointed to the psychological importance of the extra hour's daylight in the evening, which generated a feeling of greater safety in the elderly or in persons living alone, without forgetting the ability of children or adolescents to go out in the evening and return home in daylight. Finally, it was possible to note that the difficulties sometimes mentioned had in fact been linked to the matter of staff timetables and the opening and closing times of service establishments and operators. With particular reference to the HORECA sector, national laws that were tailored to the adjustment of working-time arrangements would help to solve the problems involved in managing staff timetables, with a probable impact on new-job creation in this area.

[40] See footnote 23.

2. The research analysed as part of the study seems, in any case, to indicate that the activity areas have so far absorbed summer time without any insurmountable difficulties, and do not call its existence into question. The low response rate to the questionnaire sometimes recorded for certain sectors, or indeed the surprise shown by certain national authorities and representative bodies confirm the thinking that summer time is not of major interest in the vast majority of the Union's countries or in the applicant countries. As for the opposition shown by certain organised associations, it must be said that their existence and activities are proportional to the difficulties arising from the adoption, at national level, of time arrangements differing from those of the time zone in which that country is situated. In those cases, the effects of summer time are enhanced by the shift as compared with solar time.

3. Nevertheless, (a) transport operators and (b) certain representatives of tourism, are all agreed that summer-time arrangements as such raise fewer problems in that the introduction of fully-harmonised timetabling has enabled the major stumbling blocks encountered in the past to be removed. Nevertheless, the adoption of a system not involving regular periods, and sometimes for very short periods, such as two, three or even four years as was the case hitherto, has caused concern in the socio economic areas involved. This is deepest where the discussions following in the wake of any challenge to the system have sometimes slowed down the adoption process. It was possible to note this in connection with the Eighth Directive, which only allowed transport operators a minimum amount of time in order to take appropriate action, thus causing their sector difficulties that were as pointless as they were avoidable. Representatives of sectors of industry such as calendar and diary, or computer software, production, and in particular that of electronic tachographs have demonstrated the appeal of introducing a system that would be consistent every year and which would eliminate the repetition and multiplication of any programming work, and would help to reduce the costs arising from the changes to timetabling arrangements mentioned earlier.

4. Finally, as regards the period considered to be the most suitable for summer-time arrangements, the interviews and the analysis of the replies to questionnaires by the circles affected pointed to a 46% preference for the March-October period currently in force, as opposed to 15% for March-September as was the case in the past, at least as regards the continental Member States. In this connection no Member State expressed a wish to alter the timetable in force, which introduces the beginning of summer time on the last Sunday in March and the end of summer time on the last Sunday in October - at 1.00 a.m. universal time GMT.

5. Finally, the information provided by the Member States supports the view that, as things now stand, no Member State intends to abandon the summer-time arrangements. In addition European non-member countries, and in particular the countries applying for accession to the European Union, introduced summer-time arrangements several years ago and continue to apply these in accordance with the schedule laid down by the Directive in force in the European Union.

4.1. Subsidiarity

Finally, it should be mentioned again that, when the 8th Directive (97/44/CE [41]) was adopted and the introduction of an exemption enabling one Member State not to apply summer-time arrangements was refused, the Member States felt that the Directive required (a) that summer-time arrangements be applied and (b) the timetable for the dates on which the period known as summer time began and ended be adhered to. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity the Union's task consists of laying down provisions concerning the application of summer time in order to ensure that the internal market functions properly and, more especially, that barriers to the free movement of goods services and persons be removed. Conversely, it should be stressed that laying down the time arrangements normally in force in the Member States, or in other words those applying outside summer time, continue to be solely the purview of the Member States and thus, in the event, is governed by a purely national decision taken at individual Member-State level.

[41] See footnote 3.

4.2. Law-making procedure

1. This being the case the Commission suggests that the work on harmonisation should continue and that therefore the dates and times at which summer time is to begin and end be set throughout the European Union after 2001. For the reasons given above, it is proposed that provisions relating to summer time of unlimited duration be introduced with effect from 2002. However, the Commission considers it appropriate closely to monitor that those arrangements are carried out and to take account of the situation arising from this by means of a report sent to the Council and to the European Parliament. That report will be written by the relevant Commission departments on the basis of the information provided by each Member State in each of the sectors affected by summer time. It is suggested that a report be published not later than five years after the first year in which the new Directive is implemented i.e. by 2007 at the latest.

2. In addition, in order to make it easier to keep the Member States informed, the Commission considers it appropriate to make the timetable for the summer-time period known every five years on a routine basis. Therefore it is proposed that, when the wording of the Directive is adopted, together with the schedule giving the dates and times of the timeshift for an initial five-year period, or in other words 2002-2006, this should be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

3. Since this is, in principal, a form of action that is intended to make it easier to provide transport and communications services, it is covered by shared powers.

The Eighth Directive (97/44/EC) renewed the total harmonisation of the starting and finishing dates for summer time for the period 1998-2001 inclusive, as provided for below.

Under Article 4 of the current 8th Directive, the arrangements applying with effect from 2002 will be adopted before 1 January 2001. The proposal for a Directive is based on Article 95, as was the case regarding the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Directives.

The codecision procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty is thus required.

2000/0140 (COD)

Proposal for a DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on summer-time arrangements

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [42],

[42] OJ C

Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee [43],

[43] OJ C

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty,


(1) Eighth Directive 97/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 July 1997 on summer-time arrangements [44] introduced a common date and time in all Member States, for the beginning and end of summer-time in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

[44] OJ L 206, 1.8.1997, p. 62.

(2) Given that the Member States apply summer-time arrangements, it is important for the functioning of the internal market that a common date and time for the beginning and end of the summer-time period be fixed throughout the Community.

(3) The summer-time period considered most appropriate by the Member States runs from the end of March to the end of October; that period should therefore be maintained.

(4) The proper functioning of certain sectors, not only transport and communications, but also other sectors of industry, requires stable, long-term planning. Provisions concerning summer-time should therefore be laid down for an unlimited period. Article 4 of Directive 97/44/EC provides, in that respect, that the European Parliament and the Council are to adopt, by 1 January 2001, the arrangements to apply from 2002 onwards.

(5) For reasons of clarity and accuracy of information, a timetable for the implementation of the summer-time period for the following five years should be drawn up and published every five years.

(6) Implementation of this Directive should, moreover, be monitored by means of a report on the impact of the provisions of this Directive in all of the areas concerned submitted to the European Council and the Economic and Social Committee by the Commission. That report should be based on the information made available to the Commission by the Member States in sufficient time to enable the report to be presented at the specified time.

(7) In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty, the complete harmonisation of the timetable for the summer-time period with a view to facilitating transport and communications cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore be better achieved by the Community. This Directive confines itself to the minimum required in order to achieve those objectives and does not go beyond what is necessary for that purpose.

(8) For geographical reasons, the common summer-time arrangements should not apply to the overseas territories of the Member States,


Article 1

For the purposes of this Directive "summer-time period" shall mean the period of the year during which clocks are put forward by 60 minutes compared with the rest of the year.

Article 2

From 2002 onwards, the summer-time period shall begin, in every Member State, at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in March.

Article 3

From 2002 onwards, the summer-time period shall end in every Member State at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in October.

Article 4

The Commission shall publish a communication in the Official Journal of the European Communities, for the first time on the occasion of the publication of this Directive, and every five years thereafter, containing the timetable showing the dates on which the summer-time period will begin and end for the following five years.

Article 5

The Commission shall report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee on the impact of the provisions of this Directive on the sectors concerned by 31 December 2007 at the latest. That report shall be drawn up on the basis of the information made available to the Commission by each Member State by 30 April 2007 at the latest.

Article 6

This Directive shall not apply to the overseas territories of the Member States.

Article 7

Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 31 December 2001 at the latest. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.

When the Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

Article 8

This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

Article 9

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

Communication [45] from the Commission pursuant to Article 4 of Directive ... of the European Parliament and of the Council on summer-time arrangements [46]

[45] To be published separately in the OJ following adoption of the Directive.

[46] OJ

Timetable for the summer-time period

For 2002-2006 inclusive, the summer-time periods will begin and end respectively on the following dates at 1.00 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time:

- in 2002: the Sundays of 31 March and 27 October;

- in 2003: the Sundays of 30 March and 26 October;

- in 2004: the Sundays of 28 March and 31 October;

- in 2005: the Sundays of 27 March and 30 October;

- in 2006: the Sundays of 26 March and 29 October.