Kelly's EU victory on clock changes

MEP Sean Kelly
MEP Sean Kelly

Simon Brouder

Kerry-based MEP Sean Kelly has welcomed the news that the bi-annual clock change looks set to be scrapped.

Mr Kelly has been a long-time and vocal proponent of ending the practice of changing clocks for the summer and winter months.

Now an EU-wide poll has shown overwhelming support for scrapping the practice and keeping summer time - with its longer evenings - all year round.

While the official results of the consultation - which, with 4.6 million responses, had the highest ever engagement for an EU public consultation - have yet to be published by the European Commission, reports from Brussels indicate that more than 84 per cent of respondents are in favour of abolishing the clock change.

On foot of the survey result, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is backing calls to ditch the twice-yearly changes

Mr Juncker told the German ZDF network that "the people want that, and we will make it happen".

Mr Kelly - who is Ireland's only representative on the European Parliament Working Group on the bi-annual Clock Change - welcomed the news.

"We asked citizens to have their say, and they have responded emphatically," he said.

"The Commission will now need to listen to those who engaged in this consultation - the highest number ever to do so - and take the steps to abolish the clock change, keeping summertime all year round. This is real democracy in action, and I am very proud of what has been achieved throughout this process," Mr Kelly added.

"The Commission were reluctant to do anything on this issue for many years now, but in February, my working group finally got the issue onto the agenda.

"We are not at the end of the road yet, however. We now need a proposal to come from the Commission and for it to be quickly endorsed by Parliament and the 27 Member States. The people have had their say, and now we need to work hard to deliver what they have asked us for."