Time in Europe

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Europe spans 7 primary time zones (from UTC−01:00 to UTC+05:00), excluding summer time offsets (4 of them can be seen on the map to the right, with 1 further-western zone containing the Azores, and 2 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 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 on 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.[1] 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" between March 2011 and October 2014.[2] Since October 2014 Russia 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−1, but chooses to remain closer to continental European time, resulting in legal times significantly in advance of local solar 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

Use[edit]

Of the 28 EU member states, 3 use Western European Time (Ireland, Portugal (Continental Portugal and Madeira) and the United Kingdom) and 8 use Eastern European Time (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus). The other 17 member states all use Central European Time (apart from Spain that has one region observing the WET). Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, San Marino, Vatican City, Andorra, Monaco and Liechtenstein also observe Central European Time. Northern Cyprus and Transnistria observe Eastern European Time. Azores, in Portugal, observes the Atlantic/Azores Time (UTC−1 with Daylight saving time in the summer) and the Canary Islands, in Spain, observes the Western European Time. Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine (apart from Crimea) observe the Eastern European Time. Turkey, Russia (including Crimea), Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh follow different Time Zones, including Kaliningrad Time, Further-eastern European Time (including Moscow Time), Samara Time, Yekaterinburg Time, the Asian Time Zones of Russia, UTC+04:00 (Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan including Nagorno-Karabakh).

List of time zones[edit]

Time of Day Common name(s) UTC Summer
UTC
Users
21:51, 24 June 2018 UTC−01:00 [refresh] Further-western European Time (FWT) / Azores Time (AZOT) UTC−1 UTC Azores (Portugal)
22:51, 24 June 2018 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Further-western European Summer Time (FWST) / Azores Summer Time (AZOST)
22:51, 24 June 2018 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Western European Time (WET) / Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) / Iceland Time (ICT) UTC Iceland
22:51, 24 June 2018 UTC±00:00 [refresh] Western European Time (WET) / Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) UTC UTC+1 Portugal;
United Kingdom;
Republic of Ireland;
Faroe Islands
23:51, 24 June 2018 UTC+01:00 [refresh] Western European Summer Time (WEST)
∟ Irish Standard Time (IST)
∟ British Summer Time (BST)
23:51, 24 June 2018 UTC+01:00 [refresh] Central European Time (CET) UTC+1 UTC+2 Most of western Europe;
Scandinavia;
Central Europe;
Central southern Europe;
Western Balkans
00:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Central European Summer Time (CEST)
00:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Eastern European Time (EET) / Kaliningrad Time (USZ1) UTC+2 Kaliningrad Oblast (Russia)
00:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+02:00 [refresh] Eastern European Time (EET) UTC+2 UTC+3 Finland; Baltic states;
Ukraine; Moldova;
Romania; Bulgaria; Greece
01:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+03:00 [refresh] Eastern European Summer Time (EEST)
01:51, 25 June 2018 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
02:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+04:00 [refresh] Georgia Time (GET) / Azerbaijan Time (AZT) / Samara Time (SAMT) UTC+4 Parts of western Russia;
Georgia; Azerbaijan
03:51, 25 June 2018 UTC+05:00 [refresh] West Kazakhstan Time (WKT) / Yekaterinburg Time (YEKT) UTC+5 Western-central Russia
West Kazakhstan

References[edit]

  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.