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Europe spans seven primary time zones (from UTC−01:00 to UTC+05:00), excluding summer time offsets (four of them can be seen on the map to the right, with one further-western zone containing the Azores, and two further-eastern zones spanning Georgia, Azerbaijan, eastern territories of European Russia, and the European part of Kazakhstan). Most European countries use summer time and harmonise their summer time adjustments; see Summer time in Europe for details.

The time zones actually in use in Europe differ significantly from uniform zoning based purely on longitude, as used for example under the nautical time system. The world could in theory be divided into 24 time zones, each of 15 degrees of longitude. However, due to geographical and cultural factors it is not practical to divide the world so evenly, and actual time zones may differ significantly from those based purely on longitude. In Europe, the widespread use of Central European Time (CET) causes major variations in some areas from solar time. Based on solar time, CET would range from 7.5 to 22.5°E. However, for example Spain (almost entirely in the Western hemisphere) and France (almost entirely west of 7.5°E, as illustrated in the map below) should theoretically use UTC, as they did before the Second World War.[1] The general result is a solar noon which is much later than clock noon, and later sunrises and sunsets than should theoretically happen. The Benelux countries should also theoretically use GMT.

Russia and Belarus observed "permanent summer time" between March 2011 and October 2014.[2] Since October 2014 Russia has observed "permanent winter time". Iceland can be considered to be on "de facto" permanent summer time because, since 1968, it uses UTC time all year, despite being located more than 15° west of the prime meridian. It should therefore be located in UTC−01:00, but chooses to remain closer to continental European time, resulting in legal times significantly in advance of local solar time; this is of little practical significance owing to the wide variations in daylight hours in that country.

The European Commission did in September 2018 propose ending the observance of summer time in the EU.[3] In March 2019, the European Parliament voted in favour of ending seasonal clock changes in 2021 as proposed year.[4] Legislation of the EU is decided by both the parliament and the council of the European Union, and the council decision lacked as of September 2019. Each Member State will have to decide until April 2020 whether to remain permanently on their previous "summer time" or their "winter time".

This map shows the difference between legal time and local mean time in Europe during the winter. Most of Western Europe and western part of European Russia are significantly ahead of local solar time.
Colour Legal time vs local mean time
1 h ± 30 m behind
0 h ± 30 m
1 h ± 30 m ahead
2 h ± 30 m ahead
This map shows the difference between legal time and local mean time in Europe during the summer. Most of Western Europe is significantly ahead of local solar time.
Colour Legal time vs local mean time
1 h ± 30 m behind
0 h ± 30 m
1 h ± 30 m ahead
2 h ± 30 m ahead
3 h ± 30 m ahead

UseEdit

Of the 28 EU member states (all use daylight saving time in the summer):

Of non-EU member states:

The overseas territories of Denmark, France, Netherlands and the United Kingdom are mostly located outside Europe and use other time zones.

List of time zonesEdit

Time of Day Common name(s) UTC Summer
UTC
Users
11:47, 14 November 2019 UTC−01:00 [refresh] Further-western European Time (FWT) / Azores Time (AZOT) UTC−1 UTC Azores (Portugal)
12:47, 14 November 2019 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Further-western European Summer Time (FWST) / Azores Summer Time (AZOST)
12:47, 14 November 2019 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Western European Time (WET) / Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) / Iceland Time (ICT) UTC Iceland
12:47, 14 November 2019 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Western European Time (WET) / Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) UTC UTC+1 Portugal;
United Kingdom;
Republic of Ireland;
Faroe Islands;
Canary Islands
13:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+01:00 [refresh] Western European Summer Time (WEST)
∟ Irish Standard Time (IST)
∟ British Summer Time (BST)
13:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+01:00 [refresh] Central European Time (CET) UTC+1 UTC+2 Most of western Europe;
Scandinavia;
Central Europe;
Central southern Europe;
Western Balkans
14:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Central European Summer Time (CEST)
14:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Eastern European Time (EET) / Kaliningrad Time (USZ1) UTC+2 Kaliningrad Oblast (Russia)
14:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Eastern European Time (EET) UTC+2 UTC+3 Finland; Baltic states;
Ukraine; Moldova;
Romania; Bulgaria; Greece
15:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+03:00 [refresh] Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)
15:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+03:00 [refresh] Further-eastern European Time (FET)
∟ Turkey Time (TRT)
∟ Moscow Standard Time (MSK)
∟ Minsk Time (MINT)
UTC+3 Belarus;
Most of western Russia;
Turkey;
Abkhazia;
South Ossetia
16:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+04:00 [refresh] Armenia Time (AMT) / Georgia Time (GET) / Azerbaijan Time (AZT) / Samara Time (SAMT) UTC+4 Parts of western Russia;
Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia
17:47, 14 November 2019 UTC+05:00 [refresh] West Kazakhstan Time (WKT) / Yekaterinburg Time (YEKT) UTC+5 Western-central Russia
West Kazakhstan

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Poulle, Yvonne (1999). "La France à l'heure allemande" [France on German time] (PDF). Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes. 157 (2): 493–502. Retrieved 11 January 2012. (in French)[dead link]
  2. ^ Parfitt, Tom (25 March 2011). "Think of the cows: clocks go forward for the last time in Russia". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  3. ^ State of the Union 2018: Q&A on the Commission's proposal to put an end to seasonal clock changes European Commission − Press Release (Strasbourg, 12 September 2018)
  4. ^ European Union Ready to Scrap DST