Time in France

Last updated
The lands making up the French Republic, shown at the same geographic scale. France-Constituent-Lands.png
The lands making up the French Republic, shown at the same geographic scale.

Metropolitan France uses Central European Time (heure d'Europe centrale, HEC: UTC+01:00) and Central European Summer Time (heure d'été d'Europe centrale: UTC+02:00). Daylight saving time is observed in Metropolitan France from the last Sunday in March (02:00 CET) to the last Sunday in October (03:00 CEST). With its overseas territories, France uses 12 different time zones, more than any other country in the world.

Contents

Notation

Overseas territories

The overseas territories of France use different time zones.

NameCapitalStatusLocationTime zone
French Guiana Cayenne Overseas department / region South America UTC−03:00 (GFT)
French Polynesia Papeete Overseas collectivity South Pacific Ocean UTC−10:00, UTC−09:30, UTC−09:00
Guadeloupe Basse-Terre Overseas department / region Antilles UTC−04:00
Martinique Fort-de-France Overseas department / regionAntilles UTC−04:00
Mayotte Mamoudzou Overseas department / region Africa
(Mozambique Channel)
UTC+03:00
New Caledonia Nouméa Sui generis collectivitySouth Pacific Ocean UTC+11:00
Réunion Saint-Denis Overseas department / region Africa
(Indian Ocean)
UTC+04:00
Saint Barthélemy Gustavia Overseas collectivityAntilles UTC−04:00
Saint Martin Marigot Overseas collectivityAntilles UTC−04:00
Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint-Pierre Overseas collectivitySoutheast of Canada UTC−03:00
Wallis and Futuna Mata-Utu Overseas collectivitySouth Pacific Ocean UTC+12:00
French Southern and Antarctic Lands Port-aux-Français Overseas territory Indian Ocean, Antarctica Continent UTC+04:00, UTC+05:00, UTC+10:00
Clipperton French state private property West of Mexico UTC−08:00

History

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. [1] 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. [2]

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, 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, 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. [3] 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. [4]

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." [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Time zone Region on Earth that has a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes

A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions instead of strictly following longitude, because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.

Western European Summer Time daylight savings time zone

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:

Eastern Time Zone Time zone observing UTC−05:00 during standard time and UTC−04:00 during daylight saving time

The Eastern Time Zone (ET) is a time zone encompassing part or all of 22 states in the eastern part of the contiguous United States, parts of eastern Canada, the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, Panama in Central America, and Colombia, mainland Ecuador, Peru, and a small portion of westernmost Brazil in South America, along with certain Caribbean and Atlantic islands. Places that use Eastern Standard Time (EST) when observing standard time (autumn/winter) are five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC−05:00).

Alaska Time Zone time zone observing UTC -9 during standard time and UTC -8 during daylight saving time

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 standard time (UTC+01:00)

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 UTC+01:00. The same standard time, UTC+01:00, is also known as Middle European Time and under other names like Berlin Time, Warsaw Time and Romance Standard Time (RST), Paris Time or Rome Time.

Western European Time time zone

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 variation of standard clock time that is applied in most European countries in the period between spring and autumn

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, in order to make 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.

Moscow Time zone time

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 permanently since 26 October 2014; before that date it had been set to UTC+04:00 year-round on 27 March 2011.

British Summer Time Identifier for a time offset from UTC of +1

During British Summer Time (BST), civil time in the United Kingdom is advanced one hour forward of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so that mornings have one hour less daylight, and evenings one hour more.

Time in Russia About the 11 zones of Russia

There are eleven time zones in Russia, which currently observe times ranging from UTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00. Daylight saving time is not used in Russia.

Time in Chile is divided into three time zones. Most of Continental Chile uses the time offset UTC−04:00 in winter time and UTC−03:00 in summer time, while the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica region uses the time offset UTC-03:00 the whole year. Additionally, Easter Island uses the time offset UTC−06:00 in winter time and UTC−05:00 in summer time

Time in Germany Germany uses CET/CEST

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.

Uzbekistan time is the standard time in Uzbekistan; it is 5 hours ahead of UTC, UTC+05:00. The standard time uses no daylight saving time, though there has been constant debate whether to adopt it in order to increase leisure time.

Time in Europe

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.

Time in the Republic of Ireland

Ireland uses Irish Standard Time in the summer months and Greenwich Mean Time in the winter period..

Daylight saving time in Morocco

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 practise 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.

Daylight saving time in Asia

As of 2017, daylight saving time is used in the following Asian countries:

Time in Portugal overview about the time zones in Portugal

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.

Time in Spain Time zones in Spain

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.

Time in Denmark

Denmark, including the dependencies Faroe Islands and Greenland, uses six different time zones.

References

  1. Angelier, Maryse (1998). "Voyage en train au temps des compagnies, 1832-1937". Vie du Rail & des transports (96).
  2. Poulle, Yvonne (1999). "La France à l'heure allemande". Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes. 157 (2): 493–502. doi:10.3406/bec.1999.450989 . Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  3. "Euro MPs vote to end summer time clock changes". BBC News. 26 March 2019.
  4. "Forever summer: French vote overwhelmingly to scrap changing of the clocks". www.thelocal.fr. 7 March 2019.
  5. Thorsen, Steffen. "France and Spain kicks into "Double Summer Time"". Time and Date.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012.