MADRID – the clocks move forward an hour in the early hours of March 28th as Spain moves into Daylight Saving Time. But will 2021 be the last time this happens?
Spring has officially sprung and on Sunday March 28th, the clocks in Spain will spring forward an hour to herald Daylight Savings Time (DST). That means one hour less in bed, but longer evenings.
However, it is possible this will be the last time the clocks move forward following the EU’s decision in March 2019, to dispense entirely with biannual clock changes.
Is time running out for DST?
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, there was excitement about the possibility of Spain not only abandoning DST but also moving back to the ‘correct’ time zone. After the European Parliament’s vote on DST, the change should have been implemented following agreement from the European Council. The Council, however, then sent the issue onto the European Commission, saying until there was an impact assessment, they wouldn’t make the change. The commission responded saying the Council had to find a common position. As it is – stalemate.
The pandemic has put the DST issue firmly on the backburner. Whether they will return to the subject in 2021 is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, Turkey, Russia and Belarus abandoned DST and appear to have done so successfully.
How did Daylight Savings Time come about?
During World War I, Germany implemented DST to save fuel, abandoning it in 1919, only to start again in 1940 during World War II.
For the 80 years since, the habit of turning the clock forward an hour in March and back an hour in October (approximately) has continued across much of Europe and many other countries.
Spain is also in the ‘wrong’ time zone
Another WWII impact was the moving of Spain’s time from GMT to CET. To stay in Hitler’s good books, Generalissimo Franco moved Spain’s time to be in line with that of Germany, despite the country’s physical positioning putting it in the GMT camp.
There have been talks about moving Spain back to GMT, but as with all talks on what the clocks should say, time seems to have stood still.
Related post: Clocks go back in October