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Time zones of Europe:
blue Western European Time (UTC+0)
Western European Summer Time (UTC+1)
red Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
yellow Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
green Moscow Time (UTC+3)
Moscow Summer Time (UTC+4)
Light colours indicate countries that do not observe summer time: Algeria, Iceland and Tunisia

Central European Time (CET), used in most European and some North African countries, is one of the names of the time zone that is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), with a time offset of UTC+1 (in winter).

Most countries have adopted the use of Central European Summer Time (CEST) daylight saving time in summer, with UTC+2.

Contents

Usage

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Central European Time usage in Europe

Exact Central European Time on 15th meridian (Trebnje, Slovenia)

The German Empire unified its time zones in 1893, to use CET (MEZ). During the war, this time was implemented in all occupied territories.

Before World War II, Lithuania used CET (MET) in the years 1920–40. In France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg CET was kept. After the war Monaco, Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar implemented CET.

Ireland and the United Kingdom experimentally adopted CET in the years 1968–71; however, this experiment proved unpopular and short-lived, mainly due to the increased number of road accidents (many involving children walking to school) in the dark winter mornings. Portugal used CET in the years 1966–76 and 1992–96.

Central European Summer Time

The following countries and cities have introduced the use of Central European Summer Time between 1:00 UTC on the last Sunday of March, and 1:00 UTC on the last Sunday of October:

Central European Time usage in Africa

Algeria and Tunisia use Central European Time throughout the year.

For other counties that use UTC+1, see also West Africa Time.

Discrepancies between official CET and geographical CET

Color 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

Since legal, political and economic, in addition to purely physical or geographical, criteria are used in the drawing of time zones, it follows that official time zones do not precisely adhere to meridian lines. The CET (UTC+1) 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, Poland, and Serbia). On the other hand the people in Spain still have all work and meal hours one hour later than e.g. France and Germany even if they have the same time zone. 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

Areas between 7°30′ E and 22°30′ E ("physical" UTC+1), all using UTC+2

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

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' ("physical" UTC+2)

  • The easternmost part of the Republic of Macedonia, including the city of Strumica
  • The easternmost part of Serbia, in the Pirot District, including the city of Pirot
  • The easternmost tips of Hungary and Slovakia, bordering to the north and south respectively the Ukrainian Transcarpathian Oblast (Zakarpattia Oblast), a bit to the east of Vásárosnamény, HungaryUzhhorod, Ukraine (both at 22°18′ E) line
  • The easternmost part of Poland, including the cities of Lublin and Białystok
  • The northeast of Sweden, in the Norrbotten province, including the cities of Kalix and Haparanda
  • 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 23°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 Norwegian-Russian border (incl. border passings such as Kirkenes) is the only place where CET (UTC+1) borders Moscow time (UTC+3), resulting in a two hours time change for the passenger crossing that border. More so, there exists a "tri-zone" point (where UTC+1, UTC+2, and UTC+3 meet) at the Norway-Finland-Russia tripoint (look for the town of Nautsi in this map). This is the only "tri-zone" point within Europe. 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+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 Finland-Norway 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+3 to UTC+2 to UTC+1.

See also

References

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

The Central European Time zone is the portion in red.

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

Noun

Central European Time

  1. the time of day in the time zone that encompasses many countries in Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and North Africa.

Synonyms

  • West Africa Time

See also


Simple English

Time zones of Europe in relation to UTC:
blue Western European Time (UTC+0)
Western European Summer Time (UTC+1)
red Central European Time (UTC+1)
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
yellow Eastern European Time (UTC+2)
Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3)
green Moscow Time (UTC+3)
Moscow Summer Time (UTC+4)
Light colours indicate countries not observing summer time

Central European Time is a time zone. It is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (what used to be called Greenwich Mean Time). Most countries in the central part of Europe and some countries in Africa follow it.

In Europe, the countries of Ireland, Great Britain, Iceland and Portugal use Western European Time. All the other countries, up to Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia use Central European Time.



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