I’m no fan of George Bush. But he did do one good thing – he lengthened Daylight Savings Time in the USA by 4 weeks, and made Daylight Saving more symmetrical – now clocks change back in the USA the first Sunday of November (rather than last Sunday of October), and forward the second Sunday in March (rather than the first Sunday in April).
So why not do the same in Europe?
While every Member State of the European Union can choose which time zone it wants to be in, clocks nevertheless all change on the same days – last Sunday in October, and last Sunday in March – across the whole of the EU. This is set in Directive 2000/84/EC.
The problem is that these dates are illogical. The Winter Solstice (the shortest day) is 21 to 22 December, so the autumn clock change is 8 weeks before the solstice, while the spring change is 13 weeks after the solstice. That’s a full 5 weeks in spring time that could logically have an extra hour of light in the evenings, without making the mornings any darker than they already are just before the autumn change. Lighter evenings mean less electricity used in shops, more time for outdoor sports, and all kinds of other benefits.
So then, let’s find an enterprising MEP who wants to look at this in the next Parliamentary term!
(Note this is not the same as the Lighter Later campaign in the UK, that wants to put the UK into a different timezone, although the justification is similar)