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Central European Time

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Time in Europe:
Light Blue Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Blue Western European Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Western European Summer Time / British Summer Time / Irish Standard Time (UTC+1)
Red Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
Yellow Eastern European Time / Kaliningrad Time (UTC+2)
Ochre Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
Green Moscow Time / Turkey Time (UTC+3)
Turquoise Armenia Time / Azerbaijan Time / Georgia Time / Samara Time (UTC+4)
 Pale colours: Standard time observed all year
 Dark colours: Summer time observed
Time zones of Africa:
Light Blue Cape Verde Time[a] (UTC−1)
Blue Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
Red (UTC+1)
Ochre (UTC+2)
Green East Africa Time (UTC+3)
Turquoise (UTC+4)
a The islands of Cape Verde are to the west of the African mainland.
b Mauritius and the Seychelles are to the east and north-east of Madagascar respectively.

Central European Time (CET) is a standard time of Central, and parts of Western Europe, which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time offset from UTC can be written as UTC+01:00. It is used in most parts of Europe and in a few North African countries. CET is also known as Middle European Time (MET, German: MEZ) and by colloquial names such as Amsterdam Time, Berlin Time, Brussels Time, Budapest Time, Madrid Time, Paris Time, Rome Time, Prague time, Warsaw Time or Romance Standard Time (RST).

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

As of 2023, all member states of the European Union observe summer time (daylight saving time), from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. States within the CET area switch to Central European Summer Time (CEST, UTC+02:00) for the summer.[1]

In Africa, UTC+01:00 is called West Africa Time (WAT), where it is used by several countries, year round.[2] Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia also refer to it as Central European Time.[3]


Usage in Europe[edit]

The '15th Meridian' monument in Stargard, Poland

Current usage[edit]

As of 2017,[4] Central European Time is currently used in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo (partially recognised as an independent country), Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except the Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.[3]


After World War II Monaco, Andorra and Gibraltar implemented CET.[19]

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

United Kingdom

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.

In 1968[23] 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.[24]

Central European Time is sometimes referred to as continental time in the UK.

Other countries[edit]

Several African countries use UTC+01:00 all year long, where it is known as West Africa Time (WAT), although Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia use the term Central European Time despite being in North Africa.[3]

Between 2005 and 2008, Tunisia observed daylight saving time.[25] Libya also used CET during the years 1951–1959, 1982–1989, 1996–1997 and 2012–2013.

For other countries see UTC+01:00 and West Africa Time.

Discrepancies between official CET and geographical CET[edit]

Colour Legal time vs local mean time
1 h ± 30 min behind
0 h ± 30 min
1 h ± 30 min ahead
2 h ± 30 min ahead
3 h ± 30 min ahead
European winter
European summer

The criteria for drawing time zones is based on many factors including: legal, political, economic, and physical or geographic. Consequently, 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" or "nominal" UTC+01:00 time, actually use another time zone (UTC+02:00 in particular – there are no "physical" UTC+01:00 areas that employ UTC+00:00). Conversely, there are European areas that have gone for UTC+01:00, even though their "physical" time zone is UTC (typically), UTC−01:00 (westernmost Spain), or UTC+02:00 (e.g. the very easternmost parts of Norway, Sweden, Poland and Serbia). On the other hand, people in Spain still have all work and meal hours one hour later than France and Germany despite sharing the same time zone.[26] Historically Gibraltar maintained UTC+01:00 all year until the opening of the land border with Spain in 1982, when it followed its neighbour and introduced CEST. The following is a list of such "incongruences":

Areas within UTC+01:00 longitudes using other time zones[edit]

These areas are between 7°30′ E and 22°30′ E ("physical" UTC+1)[27][28]

Areas using UTC+02:00[edit]

Areas outside UTC+01:00 longitudes using UTC+01:00 time[edit]

These areas are either west of 7°30′ E or east of 22°30′ E (outside nominal UTC+01:00)[27][28]

Areas between 22°30′ W and 7°30′ W (nominal UTC−01:00)[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 of CET in Spain.
  • 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.
  • Western Morocco including the city of Casablanca, at 7°35′ W. CET usage in Morocco extends as west as 13°10′ W.
  • The entirety of Western Sahara with its western tip at 17°6′ W and its eastern tip at 8°40′ W.

Areas between 7°30′ W and 7°30′ E (nominal UTC+00:00)[edit]

Areas between 22°30′ E and 37°30′ E (nominal UTC+02:00)[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 USSR in 1947.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buckle, Anne; Gundersen, Mathew (Feb 17, 2023). "DST Start in Europe 2023". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  2. ^ "WAT – West Africa Time (Time Zone Abbreviation)". timeanddate.com. Archived from the original on Jul 19, 2018. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  3. ^ a b c "Central European Time Zone - CET". WorldTimeServer.com. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  4. ^ "Central European Time – CET Time Zone". www.timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2024-03-23.
  5. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Belgrade, Serbia". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  6. ^ Kunt, Miroslav (2004). "Studie - Zavedení středoevropského času". archiv.kvalitne.cz (in Czech). Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b Bartky, Ian R. (2007). One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Stanford University Press. pp. 126–7. ISBN 978-0804756426. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Valletta, Malta". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  9. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Vienna, Vienna, Austria". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  10. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Rome, Italy". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  11. ^ Messerli, Jakob (Jan 25, 2015). "Zeitsysteme". Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz - Schweizer Geschichte (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  12. ^ "dullophob". www.dullophob.com. Archived from the original on 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  13. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Copenhagen, Denmark". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  14. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1895 in Oslo, Norway". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  15. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Stockholm, Sweden". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  16. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1904 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  17. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1918 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  18. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Tirana, Albania". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  19. ^ a b c d "CET - Central European Time". www.thetimenow.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  20. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Vilnius, Lithuania". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  21. ^ "Time Changes in Poland 2017". www.vercalendario.info. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  22. ^ Bartky, Ian R. (2007). One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Stanford University Press. pp. 130, 134. ISBN 978-0804756426. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  23. ^ "Summer Time all the time". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 13 February 1968. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  24. ^ "Clocks to be turned back". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 2 October 1971. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  25. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia". timeanddate.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  26. ^ Purdy, Chase. "Spain spent the last 76 years in the wrong time zone—and it's not healthy for workers". Quartz. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  27. ^ a b "Greece Time Zone". www.timetemperature.com. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  28. ^ a b "Europe Time Zones Map With Zone - madriver.me". madriver.me. Archived from the original on 2018-07-20. Retrieved 2018-07-20.

External links[edit]