The Icelandic government, seeking accession in the European Union, wants to be excepted from having to set their clocks forward in the summertime, contending that this will cause confusion for Icelanders.
All European countries, with the exception of Russia, Belarus and Iceland, observe European Summer Time, wherein clocks are set forward one hour in the spring. If Iceland were to be admitted in the EU, it would be obliged to do the same.
The idea has some support, as the Grapevine reported – general practitioner Vilhjálmur Ari Arason believes that Iceland never changing its clocks has resulted in poor sleep patterns.
However, the Icelandic government contends the opposite, believing that if Icelanders were compelled to set their clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour again in the fall, this would result in “unnecessary confusion and unpleasantness”.
The Icelandic government feels so strongly about the matter that they have added the request for an exemption from European Summer Time to their official contractual position towards the European Union. The government points out that at the end of summer – the last Sunday in October – daylight in Reykjavík lasts from 9:00 until 17:00, and gets rapidly darker from that point on. Thus setting clocks back an hour would not lead to a better use of the time, as far as most Icelanders would be concerned.