The European Commission has presented a proposal to end the biannual changing of the clocks across the European Union. (Credit: Timo Jaakonaho – Lehtikuva)

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FINLAND has reiterated its support for doing away with summertime arrangements in the European Union.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications on Friday stated that the government has tentatively decided to advocate the adoption of winter time after hearing the views of citizens, businesses and other stakeholders.

“Arguments for adopting both summer and winter time were made in the hearings,” said Anne Berner (Centre), the Minister of Transport and Communications.

Most of the arguments for adopting winter time are related to public health, as winter time is believed to prevent sleep disorders and sleep pattern irregularities by making evenings darker between March and October. Adopting winter time permanently would also create benefits from the viewpoints of securities trading by guaranteeing as small as possible a time difference to rest of Europe.

Summer time, in turn, would have a positive impact on traffic safety and promote physical activity in the evenings.

Berner added that Finns and Europeans both are widely in favour of abolishing the biannual changing of the clocks.

Finland, along with other member states, will select its new permanent time zone after the proposal to abolish the arrangements has been approved by the European Parliament and Council of Europe. The European Commission presented its proposal to abolish the biannual exercise during the course of this year on 12 September 2018, based on an initiative made by Finland.

“The abolition must be decided in co-operation with others. Common practices are the only way to ensure there are no disruptions to the internal market or especially transport operations,” underscored Berner.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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