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Central European Time

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Central European Time (CET), used in most parts of Europe and a few North African countries, 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 Berlin Time, Warsaw Time and Romance Standard Time (RST), Paris Time or Rome 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 during the winter use CET use Central European Summer Time (CEST) (or: UTC+02:00, daylight saving time) in summer (from last Sunday of March to last Sunday of October).[2]

A number of African countries use UTC+01:00 all year long, where it is called West Africa Time (WAT),[3] although Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia also use the term Central European Time.[4]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Central European Summer Time: Why?
  • ✪ Central European Time Meaning
  • ✪ Central European Time
  • ✪ The History of Europe: Every Year
  • ✪ The History of Europe: Every Year


Once a year in the spring, countries all over the world put their clocks forward one hour in order to “save daylight”. Countless millions of people lose an hour’s sleep, and it’s all the fault of one man: Kaiser Wilhelm II, he of the extraordinary facial hair. Well, it’s true that the Germans were the first to introduce daylight savings time, on 30th April 1916 as part of the war effort. And not just Germany: Austria-Hungary did the same. And then Britain and France thought that it was such a great idea, that they immediately followed suit. Why did they do this? It was to save fuel. The logic was that because people would go to bed an hour earlier, they wouldn’t need so much artificial light in the evenings, thus saving oil. But although the Germans and Austro-Hungarians were the first to actually implement the idea, they didn’t come up with it. It was first suggested in 1895 by a Brit living in New Zealand called George Vernon Hudson. And even he was inspired by Benjamin Franklin, who, over a century previously, had noted that a lot of people were wasting a lot of precious fuel on artificial light. It would help, he said, if people got up earlier in the morning and went to bed earlier in the evening. So to help save fuel in the First World War, several European countries actually did it. And then, after the war, most of them dropped it again, because it had been very unpopular. Most. Well, half. Great Britain kept daylight savings time. France did eventually drop it, after numerous protests from farmers, in 1922. And re-introduced it in 1923. Various places experimented with the idea. In the US and Canada, this was done on a local level, which could be really confusing: there were even some cases of cities where some neighbourhoods had daylight savings time, and some didn’t. Not until the second half of the 20th century did daylight savings become a regular thing in a large number of countries. Mostly, it was a response to the oil crisis of the 1970s — remember, the original idea was to save fuel. But even now that the oil crisis is over — and in any case we are using more renewable energy — we still have daylight savings time. And increasing numbers of people are asking the question: “Why?” Well, it may be because these days we are increasingly concerned about conserving energy. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be very much evidence to show that daylight savings time actually saves energy. As far back as 1916, the first year this was tried, experts were saying if there was an effect, it was negligible. In fact, when daylight savings time was introduced to Indiana in 2006, energy consumption rose by 1% — possibly because people were running their air-conditioners for longer. And a year previously, the German government had confirmed that daylight savings time had almost no effect on energy consumption. Pretty much nobody these days thinks that changing the clocks is a good idea. According to one quote doing the rounds of the internet at the moment, an unnamed Native American is supposed to have said: “Only a white man would cut the top off his blanket, sew it to the bottom, and think that he has a longer blanket.” But until governments can be persuaded to stop messing with our clocks twice a year, we’re stuck with it. The German government, while conceding that daylight savings time is basically pointless, isn’t prepared to change the status quo without the rest of the EU. And so, for now at least, if you live in the EU, you need to know that the clocks go forward one hour on the last Sunday in March, and back again on the last Sunday in October. For absolutely no reason. Thanks for watching. If you’d like to send me a postcard, here’s the address. And don’t forget to visit my website and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Also, if you’d like access to special bonus content and help with the costs of running this channel, please consider making a small monthly donation on Patreon.



Usage in Europe

The monument 'The 15th Meridian' in Stargard, Poland
The monument 'The 15th Meridian' in Stargard, Poland

Current usage

Central European Time is currently (updated 2017)[5] used in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.[4]


After World War II Monaco, Andorra and Gibraltar implemented CET.[21]

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[25] 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.[26]

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

Other countries

Several African countries use UTC+01:00 all year long, where it called West Africa Time (WAT), although Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia also use the term Central European Time, despite being located in North Africa.[4]

Between 2005 and 2008, Tunisia observed daylight saving time.[27] 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

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 winter
European summer
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.[28] 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

These areas are located between 7°30′ E and 22°30′ E ("physical" UTC+1)[29][30]

Areas using UTC+2

Areas located outside UTC+1 longitudes using UTC+1 time

These areas are located west of 7°30′ E or east of 22°30′ E (outside "physical" UTC+1)[29][30]

Areas between 22°30′ W and 7°30′ W ("physical" UTC−1)

  • 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)

Areas between 22°30′ E and 37°30′ E ("physical" UTC+2)

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.
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


  1. ^ Romance Standard Time
  2. ^ "Europe Starts Daylight Saving on March 27, 2011". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  3. ^ "WAT – West Africa Time (Time Zone Abbreviation)". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  4. ^ a b c "Central European Time Zone - CET". 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  5. ^ CET – Central European Time / European Central Time (Standard Time)
  6. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Belgrade, Serbia". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  7. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Budapest, Hungary". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  8. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1891 in Prague, Czech Republic". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  9. ^ Bartky, Ian R. (2007). One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Stanford University Press. pp. 126–7. ISBN 0804756422. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Rome, Italy". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  11. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Valletta, Malta". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  12. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Vienna, Vienna, Austria". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  13. ^ Messerli, Jakob. "Zeitsysteme". HLS-DHS-DSS.CH (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  14. ^ "dullophob". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  15. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Copenhagen, Denmark". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  16. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1895 in Oslo, Norway". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  17. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Stockholm, Sweden". Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  18. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1904 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  19. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 1918 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  20. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Tirana, Albania". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  21. ^ a b c d "CET - Central European Time". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  22. ^ "Time Zone & Clock Changes in Vilnius, Lithuania". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  23. ^ "Time Changes in Poland 2017". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  24. ^ Bartky, Ian R. (2007). One Time Fits All: The Campaigns for Global Uniformity. Stanford University Press. pp. 130, 134. ISBN 0804756422. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  25. ^ "Summer Time all the time". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 13 February 1968. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  26. ^ "Clocks to be turned back". Birmingham Daily Post. England. 2 October 1971. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)).
  27. ^ "Daylight Saving Time Changes 2005 in Tunis, Tunisia". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ a b "Greece Time Zone". Retrieved 2018-07-20.
  30. ^ a b "Europe Time Zones Map With Zone -". Retrieved 2018-07-20.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 January 2019, at 10:53
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