Hofer said Austria agreed that the switch should take place, given studies showing clock changes had a negative effect on people and animals and that they did not meet their original goal of saving energy.
“It has not brought us anything. It was an idea from the 1970s, the time of the oil crisis, and now is the time to end this measure,” he said. “The majority (of countries) supports this goal. There are some countries that are sceptical.”
Danish transport minister Ole Birk Olesen said there needed to be a full public debate on the issue, which had not yet happened in Denmark, and it was not realistic to scrap clock changes next year.
Luxembourg, where nearly half the local workforce actually lives in Belgium, France or Germany, urged a continued harmonised system, its minister saying it would be “catastrophic” if those countries were on different time zones.
Even in countries where there was a consensus to scrap clock changes, there was not necessarily agreement on whether to pick summer or winter time. Estonian minister Kadri Simson said there would be “heated debate” over which time to pick.