Metropolitan France uses Central European Time (heure d'Europe centrale, UTC+01:00) as its standard time, and observes Central European Summer Time (heure d'été d'Europe centrale, UTC+02:00) from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. With its overseas territories, France uses 12 different time zones (13 including its claim in Antarctica), more than any other country in the world.
All parts of Overseas France use different time zones from Metropolitan France.
|French Polynesia|| Society, Tuamotu |
and Austral islands
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
| French Southern|
and Antarctic Lands
| Kerguelen, Saint Paul |
and Amsterdam islands
|Wallis and Futuna|
Metropolitan France follows the summer time schedule in Europe. Summer time starts on the last Sunday in March at 01:00 UTC, when local time changes from 02:00 (UTC+01:00) to 03:00 (UTC+02:00), and ends on the last Sunday in October at 01:00 UTC, when local time changes from 03:00 (UTC+02:00) to 02:00 (UTC+01:00).
Saint Pierre and Miquelon follows the daylight saving time schedule of Canada and of the United States. It starts on the second Sunday in March at 02:00 (UTC−03:00), when local time changes to 03:00 (UTC−02:00), and ends on the first Sunday in November at 02:00 (UTC−02:00), when local time changes to 01:00 (UTC−03:00).
Other parts of Overseas France do not observe summer time.
Before 1891, each town and city in Metropolitan France had its own time based on local solar time. In 1891, to avoid complications with railway timetables, time was unified in Metropolitan France and based on the solar time of Paris. In detail, the railway companies used a unified time which lagged behind Paris solar time by 5 minutes, for the benefit of non-punctual travellers.In 1911, Metropolitan France adopted GMT+0 (the solar time of Greenwich) as its official time, and used it until 1940 (with GMT+1 used during the summers from 1916 to 1940).
In the summer of 1940, the German military authorities switched the occupied northern part of Metropolitan France to GMT+2 (German summer time), while the non-occupied southern part of Metropolitan France remained at GMT+1 (French summer time). The Vichy authorities kept GMT+1 (French summer time) during the winter of 1940–1941 and adopted GMT+2 (double summer time, which was the same as German summer time) in May 1941 in order to unify the railway timetables between occupied and non-occupied Metropolitan France. In 1942, 1943, and 1944 the whole of Metropolitan France thus used GMT+2 during the summer, and GMT+1 during the winter.
At the Liberation of France in the summer of 1944, Metropolitan France kept GMT+2 as it was the time then used by the Allies (British Double Summer Time). In the winter of 1944–1945, Metropolitan France switched to GMT+1, same as in the United Kingdom, and switched again to GMT+2 in April 1945 like its British ally. In September 1945, Metropolitan France returned to GMT+1 (pre-war summer time), which the British had already done in July 1945. Metropolitan France was officially scheduled to return to GMT+0 on November 18, 1945 (the British returned to GMT+0 in on October 7, 1945), but the French government canceled the decision on November 5, 1945, and GMT+1 has since then remained the official time of Metropolitan France.
In 1976, daylight saving time (summer time) was reintroduced in Metropolitan France for the first time since WW2 because of the oil crisis,[ citation needed ] and since 1976 Metropolitan France has thus been at GMT+1 (now UTC+01:00) during the winter and GMT+2 (now UTC+02:00) during the summer. In 1996,[ citation needed ] daylight saving time was harmonized throughout the European Union by Directive 2000/84/EC, which moved the end of DST to the last Sunday in October.
A proposal to repeal this directive and require that member states observe their own choice of time year-round from 2021 is going through the legislative process as of March 2019 [update] . A non-binding public consultation showed that approximately 59% of respondents would prefer France to apply year-round summer time (UTC+02:00), with 37% in favour of year-round winter time (UTC+01:00) and 4% expressing no preference.
Since GMT (now UTC) is Metropolitan France's "natural" time zone, its use of UTC+01:00 in winter can be seen as a form of daylight saving time in winter, while Central European Summer Time (UTC+02:00) can be seen as a form of "double summer time."
A time zone is an area which observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries between countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it is convenient for areas in frequent communication to keep the same time.
Western European Summer Time is a summer daylight saving time scheme, 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and Coordinated Universal Time. It is used in:
The Alaska Time Zone observes standard time by subtracting nine hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−09:00). During daylight saving time its time offset is eight hours (UTC−08:00). The clock time in this zone is based on mean solar time at the 135th meridian west of the Greenwich Observatory.
Central European Time (CET) is a standard time which is 1 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 and by colloquial names such as Amsterdam Time, Berlin Time, Brussels Time, Madrid Time, Paris Time, Rome Time, Warsaw Time or even Romance Standard Time (RST).
Western European Time is a time zone covering parts of western Europe and consists of countries using UTC±00:00. It is one of the three standard time zones in the European Union along with Central European Time and Eastern European Time.
Summer time in Europe is the variation of standard clock time that is applied in most European countries in the period between spring and autumn, during which clocks are advanced by one hour from the time observed in the rest of the year, with a view to making the most efficient use of seasonal daylight. It corresponds to the notion and practice of daylight saving time (DST) to be found in many other parts of the world.
Central European Summer Time (CEST), sometimes referred to as Central European Daylight Time (CEDT), is the standard clock time observed during the period of summer daylight-saving in those European countries which observe Central European Time during the other part of the year. It corresponds to UTC+02:00, which makes it the same as Eastern European Time, Central Africa Time, South African Standard Time, Egypt Standard Time and Kaliningrad Time in Russia.
Time in New Zealand is divided by law into two standard time zones. The main islands use New Zealand Standard Time (NZST), 12 hours in advance of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) / military M (Mike), while the outlying Chatham Islands use Chatham Standard Time (CHAST), 12 hours 45 minutes in advance of UTC / military M^ (Mike-Three).
Moscow Time is the time zone for the city of Moscow, Russia, and most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. It is the second-westernmost of the eleven time zones of Russia. It has been set to UTC+03:00 without DST since 26 October 2014; before that date it had been set to UTC+04:00 year-round on 27 March 2011.
During British Summer Time (BST), civil time in the United Kingdom is advanced one hour forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), in effect changing the time zone from UTC±00:00 to UTC+01:00, so that mornings have one hour less daylight, and evenings one hour more.
The time zone in Germany is Central European Time and Central European Summer Time. Daylight saving time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. The doubled hour during the switch back to standard time is named 2A and 2B.
Europe spans seven primary time zones, excluding summer time offsets. Most European countries use summer time and harmonise their summer time adjustments; see Summer time in Europe for details.
Ireland uses Irish Standard Time in the summer months and Greenwich Mean Time in the winter period..
As of 2018, daylight saving time (DST) is permanently observed in Morocco. Previously, time was advanced to UTC+01:00 at 02:00 on the last Sunday of March, and reverted to UTC±00:00, defined as Greenwich Mean Time locally, at 03:00 on the last Sunday of October. This practice was continued through October 2018, after which clocks were permanently advanced. An exception was made during the month of Ramadan during which clocks reverted to UTC+00:00.
Portugal has two time zones and observes daylight saving time. Continental Portugal and Madeira use UTC+00:00, while the Azores use UTC–01:00. Daylight saving time is observed nationwide from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October, so that every year, continental Portugal and Madeira temporarily use UTC+01:00, and the Azores temporarily use UTC+00:00.
Spain has two time zones and observes daylight saving time. Spain mainly uses Central European Time (GMT+01:00) and Central European Summer Time (GMT+02:00) in Peninsular Spain, the Balearic Islands, Ceuta, Melilla and plazas de soberanía. In the Canary Islands, the time zone is Western European Time (GMT±00:00) and Western European Summer Time (GMT+01:00). Daylight saving time is observed from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October throughout Spain.
Denmark, including the dependencies Faroe Islands and Greenland, uses six time zones.
Winter time is the practice of shifting the clock back during winter months, usually −1 hour. It is a form of daylight saving time which is the opposite compensation to the summer time. However, while summer time is widely applied, use of winter time has been and is very rare.
Time in the Kingdom of the Netherlands is denoted by Central European Time (CET) during the winter as standard time in the Netherlands, which is one hour ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+01:00), and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during the summer as daylight saving time, which is two hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+02:00). The Caribbean Netherlands – which consist of the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba – all observe Atlantic Standard Time (AST) year-round, which is four hours behind coordinated universal time (UTC−04:00).
Finland uses Eastern European Time (EET) during the winter as standard time and Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) during the summer as daylight saving time. EET is two hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+02:00) and EEST is three hours ahead of coordinated universal time (UTC+03:00). Finland adopted EET on 30 April 1921, and has observed daylight saving time in its current alignment since 1981 by advancing the clock forward one hour at 03:00 EET on the last Sunday in March and back at 04:00 EET on the last Sunday in October, doing so an hour earlier for the first two years.