European Parliament Wants to Ditch Time Change in 2021

STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a measure to abolish the twice-yearly time change in 2021.

The proposal now goes to European Union member states for further negotiations.

EU legislators voted 410-192 with 51 abstentions on Tuesday to scrap changing the clocks, which has been a rite of spring and fall for decades.

But lawmakers haven’t yet decided on whether summer or winter time should be adopted as the standard since there are divisions within the EU as to which one should be chosen.

Many member states instituted the time change during the 1970s oil crisis as an attempt to save energy. Since 1996, all EU countries change their times simultaneously.

An EU consultation of the public last year showed that 84 percent were against changing the clock.

Also Tuesday, the European Parliament approved a landmark copyright bill that seeks to give creative writers and artists better protection of their rights and income.

After a three-year process, the legislature approved the bill with 348-274 votes and 36 abstentions. The bill still needs approval from the 28 member states that gave it provisional backing last month. It has faced criticism by some for stifling internet freedom and creativity.

Axel Voss, member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the copyright bill, poses for the media at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, on March 26, 2019. The European Parliament is furiously debating the pros and cons of a landmark copyright bill one last time before the legislature will vote on it later. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

The most controversial section would require companies such as YouTube and Facebook to take responsibility for copyrighted material that’s uploaded to their platforms.

Opponents claim that could restrict freedom of speech, hamper online creativity and force websites to install filters.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in cities across Germany to protest the planned copyright reforms that they fear will lead to online censorship.

“We have agreed a new set of rules which will do exactly the opposite of killing the internet,” said German EPP legislator Axel Voss, the driving force behind the legislation who welcomed the vote with a massive sigh of relief.

“Unfair remuneration for journalists and creators means there are less people willing to do the job, which ultimately means less quality content on the internet.”

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