Tonight winter time 2020 started and clocks moved or have to be set one hour back again. Which means that until your system adjusts, it will feel like you can get up an hour later.

Time change in the Netherlands: winter time 2020

It is official: winter time 2020 has started! Overnight our clocks went back an hour as daylight saving time came to an end. This means that today it feels like we have an ‘extra hour’ and no doubt your system will need to adjust. It also means the start of longer evenings as the darkness draws in earlier.

Our clocks are now on standard time

Standard time is often used to describe the time of year when a country is not on ‘daylight saving time’ (DST). The term winter time is commonly used to replace standard time throughout Europe. Summer time is used to describe the DST-period.  [Source: timeanddate]

Standard time is also known as winter time.

The standard time debate

The debate on how useful daylight saving time is has been going on for years. It was originally introduced with the idea to save on lighting and energy costs. On the other hand, changing the time can disturb people’s biorhythm, especially in children and animals.

All EU member states were given liberty by European Parliament to stop observing the seasonal time changes and switch to either permanent winter or permanent summer time as they see fit. In March 2019, European parliamentarians voted 410 to 192 to no longer mandate that member states use daylight savings time in the EU from 2021. This means that EU Member States who want to remain on daylight saving time, also referred to as ‘summer time’ in the Netherlands, will move their clocks forward for the last time in March 2021. Countries who opt to remain on standard time will move their clocks back for the final time in October 2021.

The EU countries are still considering which time they want to stick to: will it be standard time or daylight saving time? The Dutch government has not yet decided which time the Netherlands will follow.


Note: It is not 100% clear yet that the EU will indeed have abolished DST by 2021, as negotiations have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic; see here. It remains to be seen whether we have yet seen the end to our current seasonal system where we have to remember which way to put the clocks, i.e. ‘spring forward’ and ‘fall back’.

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