The Netherlands, along with most countries on the European continent, will switch to summer time early Sunday morning. Those in the Netherlands will move the clocks forward by one hour at 2 a.m., meaning many will lose an hour of sleep. The clocks will revert back to standard time on October 29.
The Netherlands first participated in the annual daylight savings period in 1916, but did away with the practice from 1946 to 1976. Since 1996, residents of Netherlands adjust the clock early in the morning on the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October.
European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to end daylight savings time four years ago, following an initiative to get rid of the annual change proposed in 2018. Since then, the European Council put the issue on the back burner, as the EU dealt with massive issues like Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.
Under the proposal, European Union Member States will be able to decide whether they want to permanently remain on summer time or winter time, but the European Parliament also wants to avoid a situation where countries geographically near each other use a hodgepodge of different time zones.
The European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism sent a letter to the European Council urging the executive body in 2021 to act on the matter with more urgency. More recently, Danish MEP Pernille Weiss (PPE) said the idea to abolish switching the clocks “enjoys broad support,” and pressed the Council for a more definitive timetable, and an explanation for foreseeable delays.
“Research has also shown that seasonal time changes have significant effects on health – for instance, they increase the risk of heart attacks and of mental health issues such as depression,” she wrote in a letter to the Council earlier this month. “No clear evidence has been provided of any positive impact on energy consumption, which was the reasoning behind seasonal time changes in the first place.”
Daylight savings time was originally intended to make more use of available daylight, and, in theory, reduce energy consumption needed to power lighting. Aside from criticism suggesting the benefits are limited, those opposed to the practice also believe the disruption leads to more significant problems, like disturbed sleep and poor concentration.