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Most Belgians want to scrap daylight savings time

18:44 24/10/2019

According to a poll carried out by the federal government over the summer, 83% of people living in Belgium are behind the EU directive to scrap daylight savings time by 2021. The clocks go back in all European Union countries this Sunday at 3.00.

EU authorities decided last year to scrap the system of changing the clocks twice a year and are allowing member states to decide if they wanted to use permanent summertime or permananet wintertime. Countries have until next April to make the decision.

The poll among 2,000 Belgians was carried out in August. Participants were given an explanation about the advantages and disadvantages of daylight savings time, as well as a permanent summertime or wintertime. They then answered 20 questions.

According to the poll, exactly half of Belgian residents prefer to keep the wintertime – meaning set the clocks back in the autumn and leave them there. Some 45% prefer summertime. The remaining 5% had no preference.

About 80%, however, thought that Belgium should have the same system as neighbouring countries Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands. This would avoid any problems related to travel and business.

Acting prime minister Charles Michel announced that Belgium should indeed be in sync with at least the Netherlands and Luxembourg so that the Benelux operates on the same time system. The opinion poll would be one of the elements in Belgium’s decision-making process regarding daylight savings, he said.

Photo: Getty Images

Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

Belgium, being the country of wisdom we all know it for, should please everyone by adding one and a half hour to UTC (what we used to call GMT). If 50% of the country wants to live at UTC+1 and 45% wants to live at UTC+2, then UTC+1.5 seems like a good compromise.

Oct 26, 2019 17:51
Dirk Vanboven

Oh boy! Typical Belgian pragmatism. Why adjust only to Benelux, talk directly to the heads of other EU countries and agree on something, vote if you wish. Just scrap it already, being it winter or summer time. Just do it.

Oct 26, 2019 22:36
Frank Lee

I think each region should decide for itself, so you would have to adjust your clock when you cross from Waterloo to Rhode and then again once you arrive in Brussels.

Oct 27, 2019 11:51

I vote for Frank Lee, although I don't know him.

Oct 27, 2019 13:36