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Question

10. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the preparations his Department is making to prepare for the EU's harmonisation of daylight saving time in March and October 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20941/19]

Answer

Deputy Charles Flanagan: I acknowledge the Deputy's interest in this issue. The proposal from the European Commission would end seasonal clock changes with effect from 2021, with each member state electing whether to remain on summer or winter time all year round. This proposal remains under discussion and has yet to be adopted.
In this regard, discussions with members states on this proposal are ongoing via the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy, TTE, Council and the next meeting of the council is scheduled for June.
A number of member states, including Ireland, are conducting national consultation exercises to inform their position. Ireland is also among those member states which have argued that more time is required to properly consider this proposal and its implications for our people. All member states have identified a requirement for co-ordination with neighbouring countries. This is a particular consideration for us in the context of our nearest neighbour, the UK, and on the island of Ireland, with reference to Northern Ireland.
An interdepartmental steering group was established by my Department to consider the proposal, to guide a public consultation process and report to Government. The public consultation comprised a public survey and invitation of submissions from individuals and stakeholders across the country. The Department also commissioned an opinion poll of a sample of respondents aligned with the national population.
A detailed analysis of the responses has been carried out and I will bring a report to Government shortly to assist in formulating the Irish position on the proposal. Clearly, the implications for time zones on the island will be a key consideration in our approach to this issue.