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Finland to lobby EU for abolition of daylight saving time

Finland is to begin lobbying to abolish daylight saving time after more than 70,000 Finns signed a petition calling for it to end.

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File photo. Image: Anssi Leppänen / Yle

Finnish EU ministers are taking the first steps towards formally petitioning the EU to stop the usage of daylight saving time, after a petition signed by some 70,000 Finns forced MPs to consider the idea.

According to the country's EU cabinet committee, Finnish representatives will try to speed up a commission survey of member states about their positions about the practice of adjusting clocks an hour ahead or back twice a year.

The committee said they hope to soon find out how the practice affects other member states, and emphasised that EU-wide consensus on the issue is vital.

Due to an EU-wide directive on daylight saving, Finland — or any other EU member states, for that matter — cannot independently stop the practice but must move together with the other 27 EU states.

Move prompted by citizens' initiative

Last summer, more than 70,000 Finns signed a citizens' initiative to eliminate participation in daylight saving time, a feat which prompted Finnish lawmakers to review the matter in the autumn.

A citizens' initiative requires at least 50,000 signatures in order for the matter in question to be brought to parliament for consideration.

There was broad consensus among Finnish lawmakers that the twice-annual time change should become a thing of the past.

MPs called on the Transport and Communications Committee to take the issue to the EU and the Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner vowed to do so.

Berner said on Twitter that Finland will propose the end of seasonal time changes, but must canvass opinion from other states as to whether summer or winter time should be adopted as the new year-round standard.

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