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European consensus needed to end summer and winter times
Last Sunday, time stood still for an hour and we switched to winter time. This was perhaps the last time, as the European Commission proposed in September to do away with the changeover between summer and winter time. Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois and his Flemish Government are in favour of this discontinuation, provided that they can count on sufficient support from neighbouring countries. “Our neighbours are also our most important trading partners. The first priority now is to coordinate with our most important EU partners, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and France, and to decide by consensus. Coordination is essential for the proper functioning of our internal market, which we must guarantee at all times,” says Geert Bourgeois.
EU must take the lead
It is up to the EU Member States themselves to decide whether to continue using summer and winter times permanently in future. However, according to Minister-President Bourgeois, there is little chance that the countries will reach an agreement before the 2019 European elections. “It would therefore be better to postpone the regulation, whatever it may be, for at least another year. In this way, there is enough time to analyse and consult with the other Member States and our neighbouring countries in particular,” says Geert Bourgeois, who maintains that the EU should take the lead instead of making it dependent on mutual agreements between the Member States.