The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced that Ireland will oppose the EU proposal to end seasonal clock changes. The Government’s decision not to support any proposal which could result in different time zones on the island of Ireland and disruption to the EU Single Market follows the recommendation of an Interdepartmental Steering Group which included a public consultation exercise. The Government shares the concern of a number of Member States that the current proposal may result in a ‘patchwork’ of timezones across the EU. In the current system, time zones are solely determined by geographic location on an east to west basis. The proposal, as drafted, suggests that each country may choose summer or winter time year round. The Government noted that this proposal, which could result in Member States of similar latitudes choosing different times, could negatively impact the functioning of the the Single Market.
The Department of Justice and Equality has led consultations and analysis on the Commission proposal. Details of the original consultation are available here - http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Consultation_on_Seasonal_Clock_Changes
In order to gauge the opinion of the Irish public, industry and other stakeholder groups - and to allow for consideration of any additional or unforeseen implications of the proposal - the Department‘s public consultation process comprised an opinion poll, a public survey and submissions from key stakeholder groups. The opinion poll, conducted by Amárach Research, included a sample of 1,000 respondents aligned with the national population. Over 16,000 responses were received for the survey and over 50 submissions were made by key stakeholders.
A copy of the Interdepartmental Working Group report is available at the following link: Report of the Interdepartmental Group on EU Proposal to Discontinue Seasonal Clock Changes
An Irish language version of the report can be accessed at the following link: An Tuarascáil ón nGrúpa Idirrannach ar an Togra ón Aontas Eorpach le haghaidh Scor d’Athruithe Séasúracha Cloig
Stakeholder submissions received from organisations are available at the following link: Submissions received from organisations.