The Margin: Europe may stop ‘falling back’ to winter time

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Europe may soon stop the semiannual changing of the clocks.

Speaking on German television on Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the Commission “will decide .. today” whether to permanently stay on summer time.

But any change won’t necessarily happen quickly; both the European Parliament and the 28 European Union member states would need to agree. Juncker noted, however, that the parliament has been moving in this direction for years.

Juncker said the decision follows a poll of EU residents this summer. Results haven’t been released, but a German newspaper, citing Brussels sources, reported that more than 80% of those responding favored abolishing the semiannual falling back and springing forward.

“The people want it, we’ll do it,” Juncker told the network.

Watch the interview in German here.

One long-touted argument for the semiannual clock changes — saving energy — doesn’t hold up. The European Commission says the savings are minimal.

Read: Daylight-savings time hampers the U.S. economy, study finds

Changing clocks is not just a hot-button topic with Europeans. Massachusetts is exploring whether it should stop “falling back” in the winter, thereby giving residents more late-afternoon daylight. If adopted, the state would leave the Eastern Time Zone for the Atlantic Time Zone. A state commission has already voted in favor of the idea.

Arizona doesn’t fiddle with its clocks with the rest of the country, opting instead to shift time zones. A decision over a decade ago to move much of Indiana permanently to Eastern Time was controversial (counties near Chicago, in the northwest part of the state, and Evansville, in the southwest, remain on Central time)

Read: The costs of the annual switch to daylight saving time are becoming increasing evident

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