The latest debate about summertime

You’d think that the new Government in Germany would have more serious problems to work on than whether or not to keep Daylight Saving Time.  The economy, for example.  It appears not.

A brief history:

Summertime (Sommerzeit) it its current form has only been around in Germany since 1980 – partly to catch up with its neighbours in the west who had introduced it during the 1970s to save energy.  Amazingly, both West and East Germany introduced it at the same time!

The dates for changing to and from summertime were not however the same as those used in the UK, leading to both countries having the same time during October each year, until the EU synchronised all Daylight Saving Time rules across its member states in 1996.

So for the past 13 years everything has been going fine, and all the countries of Western Europe change their clocks at the same time.

Which begs the question: why is one of the parties in the new German Government, the FDP to be precise, going to campaign for it to be abolished?

Of course, it would be ludicrous for Germany to abolish DST on its own, even if EU law allowed it to.  The country would become isolated time-wise in the summer months, something that happened to Switzerland for a single year in 1980.  This causes all sort of problems with time-critical things such as cross-border timetables.  But EU law forbids it to go this way anyway.

So instead they want to lobby the EU and its members to get the rule abolished instead.

Somehow I don’t think they stand much of a chance.

About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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