Slowing time? EU wants to delay clock change move to 2021

FILE PHOTO: The clock faces on the Pembroke Clock Tower are seen in Pembroke, Malta, January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A committee at the European Parliament on Monday gave the thumbs up to scrapping the twice-yearly clock change in the European Union but with a two-year delay to 2021.

Last year, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker kicked off the debate with his proposal to halt the decades-old practice of daylight savings time in 2019, garnering support from about 3.8 million Europeans.

About 4.6 million EU citizens - out of 510 million - took part in the Commission’s online survey. Of those, 84 percent were against putting clocks forward in spring and back in autumn every year.

A majority of lawmakers on the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee backed the Commission’s proposal.

The plenary will now have to approve the proposal after which lawmakers will have to thrash out a common position with EU countries.

Currently, EU countries switch to summer time on the last Sunday of March and back to standard time on the last Sunday of October.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Janet Lawrence