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Radical Nationalist Jobbik Party Proposes Introducing Eastern European Time In Hungary

Tamás Székely 2016.10.18.

Winter is coming in Hungary, bringing more and more dark hours at the expanse of daylight every day. The astronomical phenomena has also been observed by radical nationalist Jobbik party, which has submitted a proposal for the Hungarian Parliament to introduce summer time (in fact Eastern European time) in the country. Jobbik MP Lajos Kepli argues that using “summer time” during the whole year in Hungary would be much more cost-effective than the current system and it would also improve the Hungarians’ mental health.

Currently Hungary belongs to the Central European Time (CET), which used in most parts of the European Union (red colour on the map). The standard time is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). As of 2011, all EU member states observe summer time, which means they use CET (UTC+01:00) during the winter but use daylight saving time (UTC+02:00) during the summer. The CET summer time basically corresponds with the winter time of the Eastern European Time (EET), which is also 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. Eastern European countries (yellow on the map), including Finland and the Baltic states, use daylight savings time in the summer as well (UTC+03:00).

According to Jobbik’s proposal, Hungary would use UTC+02:00 during the whole year. It would decrease energy costs indeed, however, it would force Hungarian students to go to school every morning before sunrise from mid-November to the end of February in exchange for more daylight in the afternoon. In a parliamentary debate back in April, Jobbik had already proposed introducing permanent “summer time” in Hungary but Lajos Fónagy, state secretary in charge for energy policy, rejected the idea. According to Fónagy, CET has more benefits for Hungary because “most of our trading and business partners” belong to this group.