Central European Time

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Central European Time (CET), used in most parts of the European Union, is a standard time which is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time offset from UTC can be written as +01:00. The same standard time, UTC+01:00, is also known as Middle European Time (MET, German: MEZ) and under other names like Romance Standard Time, Paris Time or Berlin Time.[1]

The 15th meridian east is the central axis for UTC+01:00 in the world system of time zones.

As of 2011 all member states of the European Union observe summer time; those that use CET during the winter use Central European Summer Time (CEST), UTC+02:00, daylight saving time in summer.

Usage[edit]

Usage in Europe[edit]

  • 1890
    • The areas of current Hungary start using CET.
  • 1891
  • 1893
  • 1894
    • Switzerland switches from UTC+00:30 to CET
    • Liechtenstein introduces CET.
    • Denmark adopts CET.
  • 1895
    • Norway adopts CET.
  • 1900
    • Sweden adopts CET.
  • 1904
    • Luxembourg introduces CET, but leaves 1918.
  • 1914
    • Albania.
  • 1914-1918
    • During World War I CET was implemented in all German occupied territories.
  • 1920
    • Lithuania adopts CET, but rescinds in 1940.
  • 1922
    • Poland adopts CET.
  • 1940
    • Under German occupation:
      • The Netherlands was switched from UTC+00:20 to CET.
      • Belgium was switched from UTC+00:00.
      • Luxembourg was switched from UTC+00:00.
    • France was switched to CET.

After WWII Monaco, Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar implemented CET.

Portugal used CET in the years 1966–1976 and 1992–1996.

United Kingdom[edit]

The time around the world is based on Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) which is roughly synonymous with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). From late March to late October, clocks in the United Kingdom are put forward by one hour for British Summer Time (BST). Since 1997, most of the European Union aligned with the British standards for BST. Central European Time is thus always one hour ahead of British time.[citation needed]

In 1968 there was a three-year experiment called British Standard Time, when the UK and Ireland experimentally employed British Summer Time (GMT+1) all year round; clocks were put forward in March 1968 and not put back until October 1971.[citation needed]

Other countries[edit]

For other countries see UTC+01:00.

Discrepancies between official CET and geographical CET[edit]

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
European winter
European summer

Legal, political and economic, as well as physical or geographical criteria are used in the drawing of time zones so official time zones rarely adhere to meridian lines. The CET time zone, were it drawn by purely geographical terms, would consist of exactly the area between meridians 7°30′ E and 22°30′ E. As a result, there are European locales that despite lying in an area with a "physical" UTC+1 time, actually use another time zone (UTC+2 in particular – there are no "physical" UTC+1 areas that employ UTC). Conversely, there are European areas that have gone for UTC+1, even though their "physical" time zone is UTC (typically), UTC-1 (westernmost Spain), or UTC+2 (e.g. the very easternmost parts of Norway, Sweden, Poland and Serbia). On the other hand, the people in Spain still have all work and meal hours one hour later than France and Germany even if they have the same time zone.[citation needed] Following is a list of such "incongruences":

Historically Gibraltar maintained UTC+1 all year until the opening of the land frontier with Spain in 1982 when it followed its neighbour and introduced CEST.

Areas located within UTC+1 longitudes using other time zones[edit]

These areas are located between 7°30′ E and 22°30′ E ("physical" UTC+1)

Areas using UTC+2[edit]

Areas using UTC+3[edit]

Areas located outside UTC+1 longitudes using UTC+1 time[edit]

These areas are located west of 7°30′ E or east of 22°30′ E (outside "physical" UTC+1)

Areas between 22°30′ W and 7°30′ W ("physical" UTC-1)[edit]

  • The westernmost part of mainland Spain (Galicia, e.g. the city of A Coruña); Cape Finisterre and nearby points in Galicia, at 9°18′ W, are the westernmost places where CET is applied.
  • The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen lies entirely within this area and extends nearly as far west as Cape Finisterre, with its western tip at 9°5′ W and its eastern tip at 7°56′ W.

Areas between 7°30′ W and 7°30′ E ("physical" UTC)[edit]

Areas between 22°30′ E and 37°30' E ("physical" UTC+2)[citation needed][edit]

Map of Petsamo area in northern Finland/Soviet Union/Russia. The green area is the Finnish part of the Rybachi peninsula (Kalastajasaarento) which was ceded to the Soviet Union after the Winter War. The Red area is the Jäniskoski-Niskakoski area ceded to the SU 1947.
  • The northeast of Norway, lying north of Finland, roughly coinciding with the county of Finnmark; for instance Vadsø, the capital of Finnmark, has a longitude of 29°49′ E. Actually, the easternmost town in Norway, Vardø, lies at 30°51′ E, which is so far east, so as to be east even of the central meridian of EET (UTC+2), i.e. east of Istanbul and Alexandria. The sun reaches its highest point at 10:56 (when not DST).
    The NorwegianRussian border (incl. border passings such as Kirkenes) is the only place where CET (UTC+1/+2) borders Moscow time (UTC+4), resulting in a two hours time change (or three hours in winter) for the passenger crossing that border.
  • More so, there exists a "tri-zone" point (where UTC+1, UTC+2, and UTC+4 meet) at the NorwayFinlandRussia tripoint near Nautsi. It is interesting to perform the following mental experiment when looking at this map: Go to the westernmost point of the red area (the Jäniskoski-Niskakoski area); this belongs to Russian jurisdiction, hence the time there is UTC+4 (formerly UTC+3). Then, take a northeastern (NE) direction (that is an eastwards direction); you will soon be crossing into Finnish territory, thus moving to the UTC+2 time zone. Continuing in that direction, you will eventually reach the FinlandNorway border and enter Norway, thus passing into the UTC+1 time zone. So, moving in a (north)easterly direction, you will be moving from UTC+4 to UTC+2 to UTC+1.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]