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Clocks go forward Sunday - but not for last time

Hungarians, along with the rest of Europe, will turn their clocks forward one hour early this Sunday, March 31, making the switch to summer time, albeit not for the last time, noted state news wire MTI.

Last September, the European Commission proposed scrapping bi-annual clock changes in the European Union in 2019. On Tuesday, the European Parliament backed that proposal, but voted to postpone the date for the change from 2019 to 2021.

Under the draft law, approved by MEPs with 410 for, 192 against and 51 abstentions, EU countries deciding to stay on summer time should make their final clock change on the last Sunday in March 2021, while those that prefer their standard, or winter time, can adjust their clocks for the final time on the last Sunday of October 2021. 

MEPs also want EU countries and the EC to coordinate the decisions to ensure that the application of summer time in some countries and winter time in others does not disrupt the internal market.

"If the Commission finds that the foreseen time arrangements could significantly, and permanently, hamper the proper functioning of the single market, it may submit a proposal to postpone the date of application of the directive by a maximum of 12 months," according to the adopted text, which represents the EPʼs position for negotiations with EU ministers on the final wording of the rules.   

The EC made the proposal after a survey showed that 84% of people in the EU-28 favor an end to daylight saving time. In Hungary, as many as 90% of people want to abolish the practice of turning clocks forward and back.