8th EU directive, UK on CET, Port. PTA

Peter Ilieve peter at aldie.co.uk
Fri May 31 18:54:27 UTC 1996

Chris Carrier <72157.3334 at CompuServe.COM> wrote:

> Actually I would think that they should not make any formal proposals until
> after 1996 Oct 27, when the first October of the EU on DST is over, to gauge
> public reaction to it.

The reason it was done this early is largely because the seventh directive
was produced quite late, 30 May 1994. This didn't leave much time for
National Governments to enact their own legislation. For example the
UK Summer Time order wasn't made until 2 November 94, and that was
for the 1995 dates. This caught out many diary publishers as in 1995
the UK ended summer time on 22 October, the 4th Sunday, rather than the
more traditional Sunday after the 4th Saturday (29 Oct). Even May of
the year before is a bit late for timetable planning.

The reason it was late was that the sixth directive only said that the
Council of Ministers, acting on a proposal from the Commission, would
produce a directive by 1 Jan 94. The Commission didn't produce its
proposal until 27 Sep 93, not leaving much time for the rest of
the process. In retaliation, the Council specified a two step process
for producing the next directive, the Commission to produce proposals
by 1 Jan 96, and the Council to finalise it by 1 Jan 97.

> Personally, I think time zone changes are of sufficent importance that there
> ought to be constitutional language requiring a public referendum in the
> affected area before a change in rules is made.

Constitutional language is hard to find in the UK, and I doubt that
summer time would be high on the list of priorities if we did choose
to invent some. :-)

[re: `option 2', the UK moving an hour forward, both summer and winter]

> >The UK government still hasn't formally decided what to do about this issue.
> >I am sure they just wish it would go away so they never have to decide.
> Tell the Commission, in polite diplomatic language of course, to blow it out
> their ear, to use a common American expression, ...

Personally, I would suggest another orifice, I too am no fan of this idea. :-)

The problem isn't with the Commission pushing this idea on the UK government.
Our current government is quite capable of telling the Commission to get
stuffed (currently, with beef offal :-). The pressure for this change
seems to be coming from a vociferous pressure group within the UK.
The government have been too timid ever since the consultation exercise
about this in 1989 to make any decision, the matter is officially `under
constant review'. My guess is that if they do decide to change they would
try very hard to blame the change on the Commission and the EU in general,
hence the prominent notes by the Commission in this survey report saying
`nothing to do with us gov'.

> >With Portugal having rejoined the UK and
> >Eire in the GMT zone I still can't see the UK changing.
> I heard that the Portuguese equivalent of the Parent Teachers Association had
> a lot to do with getting Portugal back on GMT.  Can anyone supply more details
> on this?

This may well be true. I reported back in February the results of an
email exchange with Martin Bruckmann in Portugal <martin at ci.ua.pt>.
He said:

-And, a  novelty  (or  back to how it was  before  E.U.)  :  Portugal  is
-re-adopting  its more natural time, i.e.  the same as in the U.K.  It is
-still 1h delay compared to its solar time, but it's already  better than
-the E.U.  imposed  Central  European  Time, which forced  little kids to
-wake up very early to go to school in the total darkness in Winter...


-Yes, it is true. Actually, we just stayed with "Winter time" instead of 
-changing to Summer time this year. This has been decided by the new Prime 
-Minister and his government a month ago or so. Exact legal references ? I 
-don't have any, nor would I know where to look for them.

which I rather inaccurately paraphrased as:

=After a bit more clarification it seems that the new Portugese Prime
=Minister has got fed up with getting up in the dark in the Winter and
=has decided they won't put the clocks forward this March.

		Peter Ilieve		peter at aldie.co.uk

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