In March 2019, various news outlets reported that the European Parliament had voted to scrap EU directive 2000/84/EC, which mandates the use of Daylight Savings Time (DST) throughout the EU. For example, see The Guardian or timeanddate.com, or the European Parliament website itself. The Guardian reports that all that now remains is that national governments give their assent.

Does this proposal imply that member states are mandated to not use DST (prohibiting time changes), or just that the EU will no longer impose it — leaving each state to decide individually? The news reports formulate that member states would be able to choose whether to remain on “permanent summer” or “permanent winter” time, implying that continued time changes in individual member states would not be allowed — but I don't see how merely repealing directive 2000/84/EC would do that.

Are EU member states still allowed to keep clock changes, even if the directive is repealed?

  • 4
    What if they change their mind every 6 months between permanent winter and permanent summer time ? :D
    – Bregalad
    Jan 6, 2020 at 18:33
  • 1
    AFAIK nothing has been decided yet. Jan 7, 2020 at 1:01

1 Answer 1


While researching the question, I found the answer in this European Parliament document, which explicitly states a motivation:

Internal market: At this juncture, evidence is conclusive on one point:that allowing uncoordinated time changes between Member States would be detrimental to the internal market due to higher costs to cross-border trade, inconveniences and possible disruption in transport, communications and travel, and lower productivity inthe internal market for goods and services.


Based on the evidence available on the effects of the EU summer-time arrangements, as referenced above, the conclusion can be drawn that a continued harmonised regime –whereby all Member States abolish the bi-annual time changes –would remain beneficial for the functioning of the internal market.

And from the actually of the adopted text (emphasis mine):

Article 1

  1. Member States shall not apply seasonal changes to their standard time or times.
  • 3
    As far as I can see, the actual adopted text was adopted only as a proposal; it has not been enacted, and I haven't found anything saying how likely it is actually to be enacted or when.
    – phoog
    Jan 6, 2020 at 19:09
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    I'd be interested if they've done any studies on that. Australia is a single country with multiple timezones. Only the southern states (and the ACT) (those with capital cities more southerly than Perth) currently switch to daylight saving time for half the year. The rest of mainland Australia uses standard time all year round. We alternate between 3 timezones and 5 timezones. We're used to it and it doesn't seem to come up as a reason for abolishing daylight saving changes. Do you know if they've cited any studies?
    – CJ Dennis
    Jan 7, 2020 at 1:34
  • @CJDennis It's easy to design a study that shows an adverse effect: Have somebody shifts his/her day by 10 hours, and divide that effect by 10 to get the effect of a single hour. I bet it will show an effect. (If this sounds absurd, it's how most studies for poison and cancer effects are done). A second approach is to interview people; As many people already complain that switching to DST disturbs their day-night rhythm (and that of their pets), it would be easy to report that a certain percentage feels affected by DST.
    – Sjoerd
    Jan 7, 2020 at 8:40
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    @CJDennis The whole process is poor. They did a "public consultation" in the form of a non-representative internet poll filled almost only by Germans and by less than 1% of non-German EU citizens, then drew conclusions from that as if it were a representative referendum with high turnout — the motivation is full of weasel words and "studies". Personally I am strongly in favour of keeping DST (I neither want summer daylight hours of 04:30-20:30, nor winter daylight hours of 09:30-17:30)
    – gerrit
    Jan 7, 2020 at 8:47

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