Europe spans 7 primary time zones (5 of them can be seen on the map in this article, while 2 other zones contain the European part of Kazakhstan and some very eastern territories of European Russia). Most European countries use daylight saving 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 their "pure" theoretical variants as used for example under the nautical time system. Theoretically the world is divided into 24 time zones of 15 degrees. 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 their theoretical borders. In Europe's case, the widespread use of the Central European Time Zone causes a major distortion in some areas from the theoretical time or the solar time. CET is theoretically centred around 15°E. However, Spain lying almost entirely in the Western hemisphere, and France with some regions to the west should theoretically use UTC, as they did before the Second World War. The general result is a solar noon which is much later than clock noon. This results in later sunrises and sunsets than should theoretically happen. The Benelux countries should also theoretically use GMT.
Russia and Belarus have observed "permanent summer time" since 2011. Iceland can be considered to be on "de facto" permanent summer time because it uses UTC time all year, despite being located more than 15° west of the prime meridian. It should therefore be located in UTC-1, but chooses to remain closer to continental European time, resulting in legal times significantly in advance of local solar time.
|Time of Day
||Common Time Zone Name
||Coordinated Universal Time
|13:37, June 16, 2013 (GMT / BST) ()
||Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Western European Time (WET)
|14:37, June 16, 2013 (CET / CEST) ()
||Central European Time (CET)
|15:37, June 16, 2013 (EET) ()
||Eastern European Time (EET)