EUROPEAN SUMMER TIME is the variation of standard clock time that is
applied in most European countries, not including
Russia — 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 " to be found in many other parts of the world.
European Summer Time is observed across three time zones, beginning
at 01:00 UTC/WET (02:00 CET , 03:00 EET ) on the last Sunday in March
and ending at 01:00 UTC (02:00 WEST , 03:00 CEST , 04:00 EEST ) on the
last Sunday in October each year. This means that Summer Time lasts,
depending upon the calendar year, for either 30 or 31 weeks of the
* 1 History
* 2 Exact transition dates
* 3 Double Summer Time
* 4 Countries not switching to and from summer time
* 5 Local observations
* 5.2 Bulgaria
* 5.3 Czech Republic
* 5.7 France
* 5.8 Germany
* 5.9 Hungary
* 5.11 Ireland
* 5.12 Italy
* 5.13 Norway
* 5.14 Poland
* 5.15 Portugal
* 5.16 Romania
* 5.19 Slovenia
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
Summer Time was first introduced during the
First World War
First World War .
However, most countries discontinued the practice after the war. It
was then restarted in various countries during the Second World War
and its immediate aftermath. Again it was widely cancelled by the
1950s, although re-introduced in isolated cases until the late 1960s
when the energy crisis began to prompt policy makers to re-introduce
the policy across the continent. It has remained in place in most
European countries since that time.
Historically the countries of
Europe had different practices for
observing Summer Time, but this hindered coordination of transport,
communications and movements. Starting in 1981 the European Community
began issuing directives requiring member states to legislate
particular start and end dates for Summer Time.
Since 1981 each directive has specified a transition time of 01:00
UTC and a start date of the last Sunday in March, but the end dates
have differed. Successive Directives laid down two dates for the end:
one on the last Sunday in September applied by the continental Member
States, and the other on the fourth Sunday in October for the United
Kingdom and Ireland. In 1996 the end date was changed to the fourth
Sunday in October for all countries. In 1998 the end date was
adjusted to be the last Sunday in October; this happened to be the
same as the previous rule for 1996 and 1997. The ninth directive,
currently in force, has made this permanent.
There have been proposals in 2015 and 2016 from members of the
European Parliament to abolish summer time observance, but the
European Commission has yet to put forward proposals to be considered
as it says it has not found conclusive evidence in favour of a change
and member states are divided. It did however note that there would be
a cost to lose harmonisation between member states' summer time rules.
EXACT TRANSITION DATES
European Summer Time BEGINS (clocks go forward) at 01:00 UTC on the
last Sunday in March:
* 31 March 2013
* 30 March 2014
* 29 March 2015
* 27 March 2016
* 26 MARCH 2017
* 25 March 2018
* 31 March 2019
* 29 March 2020
* 28 March 2021
The formula used to calculate the beginning of European Summer Time
SUNDAY (31 − ((((5 × Y) ÷ 4) + 4) MOD 7)) MARCH AT 01:00 UTC
where y is the year, and a mod b is the remainder of division after
truncating a and b to integers. The above formula is valid until 2099.
European Summer Time ENDS (clocks go back) at 01:00 UTC on the last
Sunday in October:
* 27 October 2013
* 26 October 2014
* 25 October 2015
* 30 October 2016
* 29 OCTOBER 2017
* 28 October 2018
* 27 October 2019
* 25 October 2020
* 31 October 2021
To calculate the end of European Summer Time, a variant of the
formula above is used for October:
SUNDAY (31 − ((((5 × Y) ÷ 4) + 1) MOD 7)) OCTOBER AT 01:00 UTC
DOUBLE SUMMER TIME
"Double Summer Time" (two hours ahead of local winter time) has been
observed on some occasions, notably in 1921, 1941-5 and 1947. See:
British Double Summer Time (UTC+02:00 )
Central European Midsummer Time (UTC+03:00 )
* Moscow Midsummer Time (UTC+05:00 )
COUNTRIES NOT SWITCHING TO AND FROM SUMMER TIME
There are three countries that do not use summer time, and keep the
same time all year.
Some may be thought of as using "permanent" summer time since they
are using time zones allocated to regions further east than
Belarus explicitly decided to stay permanently on (what it
formerly called) summer time after 2011.
Spain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands may also be thought of as
observing "summer time" throughout the winter, and "double-summer
time" during summer, because of their position far to the west of the
central European time zone.
Belarus switched to summer time in Spring 2011 and did not switch
back, and is now observing UTC+03:00 all year round. The midpoint of
Belarus has longitude 28°E (corresponds to UTC+1.8).
Iceland observes UTC all year round despite being at longitudes
(13°W-24°W) which would indicate UTC−1. Iceland's high latitude
(the Reykjavík region, home to nearly two-thirds of the country's
people, is at 64°N) means that sunset and sunrise times change by
many hours over the year, and the effect of changing the clock by one
hour would, in comparison, be small.
Russia used "permanent summer time" from 2011 to 2014. In October
Russia changed permanently back to standard time (UTC+03:00 in
the country's west, including Moscow), setting the clocks back one
hour at the same time as other European countries did.
Turkey decided not to observe daylight saving time anymore in
September 2016, and decided to stay in UTC+3 throughout the year
rather than switching back to its original time UTC+2.
In most of Europe, the word Summer is added to the name of each
European time zone during this period: thus, in the UTC+01:00 time
Central European Time becomes Central European Summer Time
Austria-Hungary used summer time during
World War I
World War I in 1916, 1917 and
1918, similarly as the German Empire.
Summer time was introduced in Bulgaria in 1979 by a regulation of the
Bulgarian Council of Ministers. Bulgaria observes the European Union
rules for summer time.
Kingdom of Bohemia , summer time was used for three seasons
since 1916 to 1918, while being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
during World War I. During the
World War II
World War II period, when Protectorate
of Bohemia and Moravia became a de facto part of
Nazi Germany , summer
time was used since 1940. In 1940/1941 and 1941/1942, the summer time
was kept continuously even during the winter.
summer time since 1945 to 1949 and since 1979 up to 1992. In winter
1946/1947 (since 1 December to 23 February), also winter time
(CET+01:00) was used.
Czechoslovakia used summer time yearly since 1979 and both Czech
Slovakia continued in doing so after the dissolution in
Czech lands and
Slovakia used summer time in 1916, 1917 and 1918
under the Austro-Hungarian Empire during World War I.
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia used summer time since 1940. In
1940/1941 and 1941/1942, the summer time was kept continuously even
during the winter. The Slovak State during
World War II
World War II also used
Czechoslovakia continued to use the summer time since 1945 to 1949.
In winter 1946/1947 (from 1 December to 23 February), also winter time
(CET−01:00) was used.
Czechoslovakia used summer time since 1979 up to 1992 (year of its
dissolution). Czech Republic and Slovak Republic continue to use the
Although summer time has been observed in
Denmark for the past few
decades and its observance will continue in accordance with EU orders,
a national association against summer time (Landsforeningen mod
Sommertid) still exists.
Estonia the use of summer time has been strongly criticised and as
a result it was not used in 1989–1996 and 2000–2001. It was used
under Soviet rule in 1981–1988.
From 1923 until the
Second World War
Second World War France observed summer time from
the last Saturday in March until the first Saturday in October. During
Second World War
Second World War France also observed summer time. However, after
the war the practice was abandoned (since the country changed time
zones instituting de facto permanent summer time). In 1975, summer
time was reimplemented because of the oil crisis .
Since GMT (now UTC) is France's "natural" time zone its use of UTC+1
in winter can be seen as a form of daylight saving time in winter,
while its use of
Central European Summer Time (UTC+2) in summer can be
seen as a form of "double summer time".
France follows EU rules regarding the start and end times and dates
for summer time.
Summer time was first introduced during
World War I
World War I by the German
Empire in the years 1916 to 1918. After the end of the war and the
proclamation of the
Weimar Republic in November 1918, summer time
ceased to be observed in peace time. Summer time was reintroduced in
World War II
World War II , in an attempt to save energy for the war
economy . After the defeat of Germany, summer time was retained by the
occupation powers. In 1945,
Berlin and the Soviet Occupation Zone even
Central European Midsummer Time (Mitteleuropäische
Hochsommerzeit, MEHSZ; UTC+03:00 ); in 1947, all of Germany switched
to midsummer time from 11 May to 29 June. After the Federal Republic
(West Germany) and the
German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were
established in 1949, summer time again ceased to be observed in 1950.
In 1978, West Germany decided to re-introduce summer time, following
the example set by several neighbouring states in the aftermath of the
1973 oil crisis . However, it only came into effect in 1980, after
West and East Germany reached an agreement to simultaneously observe
summer time from the last Sunday in March (02:00 CET) to the last
Sunday in September (03:00 CEST). Therefore, both German states
observed the same time until the
German re-unification in 1990, after
which the re-unified Germany retained the laws and thus also the Time
Act (Zeitgesetz) of West Germany.
After 1980, West and East Germany; since 1991 reunified Germany:
Central European Summer Time .
Germany follows EU rules regarding the start and end times and dates
for summer time.
Summer time was introduced in Hungary first in 1916 and it was
observed until 1919. After that summer time was in use between
1941–1949 and 1954–1957. Summer time has been in use again since
1980 and follows EU rules. Hungary may scrap DST in 2017.
Iceland uses UTC but has not used summer time since April 1968. From
1908 to 1968
Iceland used UTC−1. Summer time was used in 1917-1919,
1921 and 1939-1967.
Time in Ireland
In Ireland , Summer Time, known as Irish Standard Time (IST) is
observed during Summer (March to October). IST is sometimes mistaken
for "Irish Summer Time", though this is incorrect.
Summer time in Italy was adopted and abolished several times, being
observed from 1916 to 1920 and between 1944 and 1948. A law was
approved in 1965 that took effect the following year, and made the
application of summer time mandatory in the whole country. Since 1996,
it has been coordinated with the
European Union .
In Norway, summer time was observed in 1916, 1940–45, and 1959-65.
The arrangement was controversial, and in 1965 the Norwegian
Stortinget ) voted to discontinue the practice. Their
neighbour, Sweden, did not use it.
However, in 1980 summer time was reintroduced (together with Sweden
and Denmark), and since at least 2002 Norway has followed the European
Union in this matter.
In Poland, "the summer time" was observed in the following years:
* 1946 - 1949
* 1957 - 1964
* 1977 - (still)
In the years 1979 - 1995 the last day of summer time was the last
Saturday of September. In 1996 it was changed to the last Saturday of
October, in order to synchronise with other countries of the EU.
In Portugal, summer time (locally known by "Hora de Verão") was
introduced in 1916. In the years 1922, 1923, 1925, 1930, 1933 and from
1967 to 1975 summer time was not applied. For many years the official
hour in the
Madeira Islands was one hour earlier than that in
Azores Islands was two hours behind. Today, in the Madeira
Islands the official time is the same as that of Lisbon, and in the
Azores Islands is one hour behind Lisbon. The start and end dates for
summer time in Portugal follow the pattern in the rest of the EU: the
last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
Summer time in Romania was originally introduced in 1932 (between 22
May and 2 October). Between 1933 and 1940 summer time started on the
first Sunday in April and ended on the first Sunday in October. Summer
time was abandoned in 1941 and reintroduced in 1979. Until 1996, with
few exceptions, summer time started at the end of March and ended at
the end of September. Since 1997, it has started in the last Sunday in
March and ended on the last Sunday in October, in accordance with
European Union rules.
Further information: Time in
Russia , a decree of the
Russian Provisional Government introduced
summer time (Russian : летнее время) on 30 June 1917 and
clocks moved one hour forward. A decree of the Soviet government led
to the abandonment of this system five months later: clocks moved one
hour back again on 28 December.
Decree time had the effect of imposing year-round
time-zone advances in the Soviet Union.
Summer time was reintroduced in the
Moscow Summer Time ) on 1
April 1981, by a decision of the Council of Ministers of the
and its practice continued into post-Soviet times until recently. The
changeover dates in
Russia were the same as for other European
countries, but clocks were moved forward or back at 02:00 local time
in all zones. Thus in Moscow (local time = UTC+3 in winter, UTC+4 in
summer), summer time commenced at 02:00 UTC on the day before the last
Sunday in March, and ended at 03:00 UTC on the day before the last
Sunday in October. (Note that "day before last Sunday" is not the same
as "last Saturday" in a month where the last day is a Saturday.)
Night black sky at 9:06 am (UTC+4) on 23 December 2013 in Moscow
On 8 February 2011, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev announced
cancellation of biannual daylight switches in
Russia in favor of a
permanent switch to summer time. An hour was added in March 2011 for
the last time, and clocks did not move back again. At the same time
some of Russia's time zones were consolidated. After this reform many
Russian cities have a "standard time" two hours more than would be
suggested by their "astronomical time" (because the original standard
time was already ahead of astronomical time in many areas).
During his 2012 election campaign,
Vladimir Putin proposed
re-introducing summer time, as there had been complaints about some
workers not seeing any daylight during the winter, since the sun had
not risen when going to work. According to a report in the
International Herald Tribune, the winter of 2011-12 was remembered as
the "darkest winter on record" as a result of the time change.
However, Putin later said it would be up to then Prime Minister
Medvedev's cabinet to decide how to proceed with a seasonal time
shift, and it decided to stay with the 2011 policy.
On 26 October 2014,
Russia permanently returned to "winter" time.
Slovakia , formerly part of
Czechoslovakia , the authorities
introduced summer time (locally known as "Letný čas"), with
occasional breaks, in the early 1940s. Annual summer time, however,
dates only from 1979. After several years,
Slovakia established the
rule that summer time begins in the last weekend of March (during the
night from Saturday to Sunday) and ends in the last weekend of
September. Since 1996, summer time has been prolonged about one month
so it lasts until the last weekend in October, in accordance with
European Union rules.
Summer time in Slovenia (locally known as "Poletni čas") was
introduced on 16 November 1982 when it was one of the Yugoslavia
republics. Same law was valid until 1996 when the end of summer time
was changed from first Sunday in October to last Sunday in October. In
European Union standard was adopted and is still used today.
Sweden summer time was originally introduced on 15 May 1916. Then
it proved unpopular, and on 30 September in the same year, Sweden
returned to year-round standard time. This situation continued for
more than half a century.
On 6 April 1980,
Sweden again introduced summer time, and since then
summer time has been observed every summer in Sweden. Except for the
introduction year 1980, summer time has always started on the last
Sunday in March. It ended on the last Sunday in September during the
years 1980-1995, and has ended on the last Sunday in October since
1996, following a unification of start/end dates of summer time within
the EU as well as in several European countries then outside the EU.
The transit authority
Västtrafik changes their clocks at 4 AM, so
that the last tram that leaves around 3:30 actually goes 2:30 on last
weekend of October for those who have changed their clocks at the
legal time. The public transport company SL changes their clocks at
the legal time, and runs extra departures during the October
The last country in
Europe to adopt summer time, in 1981, was
Switzerland , despite the fact the summer time was rejected in a
federal voting in 1977 by 52.1% of voters. Since 1996 Swiss summer
time follows EU regulations. It had been in use in 1941 and 1942.
Turkey observes the EU rules for both the date and the time of its
Summer time was introduced in
Turkey in 1947, but suspended from 1965
through 1972. Since 1974,
Turkey follows European Summer Time.
In 2008, the Turkish Ministry of Energy proposed that
abolish summer time while at the same time switching to GMT +2.5,
originally from 2009 onwards, but when this appeared infeasible, to
start in 2011. The plan has not been heard of since.
For the year 2011,
Turkey switched to European Summer Time at 3:00 am
(03:00) on Monday 28 March, one day later than the rest of Europe, to
avoid disrupting the national university-entrance examinations held on
Once again, for the year 2014,
Turkey switched to European Summer
Time at 3:00 am (03:00) on Monday 31 March, one day later than the
rest of Europe, to avoid disrupting the local elections held on 30
Turkey delayed the switch from European Summer Time by 2
weeks, to 4:00 am (04:00) on Sunday 8 November, two weeks later than
the rest of Europe, due to the calling of a snap general election on
Sunday, 1 November.
Turkey scrapped winter time, by switching to New Turkey
Time. This means permanent UTC+3, which was used during summer time in
Turkey. The switch was on 12:00 am (00:00) on Thursday 8 September, in
reality stopping switches between summer and winter time.
Summer time was introduced in
Ukraine in the early 1980s; from 1981
till 1989 this was
Moscow Summer Time ; since 1992 Eastern European
Summer Time has been used.
On 20 September 2011 the
Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) voted
not to return from
Eastern European Summer Time to Eastern European
Time . This change would have had the effect of moving
Further-eastern European Time
Further-eastern European Time zone UTC+03:00 along with Belarus
Russia (which do not observe summer time). However, on 18
October 2011 the Parliament canceled these plans and the country
Eastern European Time as scheduled. 295 MPs voted in
favour out of 349 registered MPs.
Crimea and regions of eastern
Ukraine under the control of separatist
Further-eastern European Time
Further-eastern European Time .
British Summer Time
United Kingdom local time during this period is known as
British Summer Time (BST) (UTC+01:00 ) while local time during the
rest of the year is normally referred to as
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
British Summer Time is part of Western European Summer
Legislation: Summer Time Act 1916; Summer Time Act 1922; Time
(Ireland) Act, 1916; Summer Time Act, 1925; Emergency Powers (Defence)
Act, 1939; The Summer Time Order 1964; The Summer Time Order 1967;
Summer Time Act 1972; The Summer Time Order 1997; The Summer Time
Since 1996 all clocks in the European Union, of which the UK is a
member state, have changed on same dates and at the same time, 01:00
British Summer Time starts: Last Sunday in March
British Summer Time ends: Last Sunday in October
British Summer Time clocks change at 01:00 (1.00 am) Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT).
Daylight saving time in the Americas—Greenland (uses European
summer time rule)
Winter time (Czechoslovakia) – 1946/1947
* ^ A B "Communication from the commission to the Council, the
European Parliament and the European economic and social committee
under Article 5 of Directive 2000/84/EC on summer time arrangements".
European Commission. 23 November 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
* ^ "
European Commission - Mobility and Transport: Summertime". 24
* ^ Joseph Myers (21 January 2007). "History of legal time in
Britain". Retrieved 24 March 2007.
* ^ "Directive 2000/84/EC of the
European Parliament and of the
Council of 19 January 2001 on summer time arrangement".
* ^ https://www.timeanddate.com/news/time/eu-dst-discussions.html
* ^ Attributed to Robert H. van Gent. "Daylight Saving Time: About
* ^ "
Russia set to turn back the clocks with daylight-saving time
shift". The Guardian. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
* ^ Bulgaria Turns Clocks to Daylight Saving Time March 28 -
Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency
* ^ "Landsforeningen mod Sommertid" (in Danish). Retrieved
* ^ Poulle, Yvonne (1999). "La France à l\'heure allemande" (PDF).
Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes (in French). 157 (2): 493–502.
doi :10.3406/bec.1999.450989 . Retrieved 11 January 2012.
* ^ Thorsen, Steffen. "France and Spain kicks into "Double Summer
Time"". Time and Date.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
* ^ DST and midsummer DST in Germany until 1979,
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt. (2010)
* ^ @sztro.NET - horoszkóp, asztrológia - nyári időszámítás
* ^ "Hva er sommertid?". Forskning.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved
* ^ "Hora Legal desde 1911 (Legal Time since 1911)" (PDF) (in
* ^ "Observatorul Astronomic - Ora de vara" (in Romanian).
Retrieved 2008-11-15. Contains tables with all historical summer time
start and end dates since 1932.
* ^ Russia/Moscow Other possible error Site timeanddate.com 3 July
1916 00:01:02 hour forward
* ^ A B C D Gessen, Masha (1 October 2012). "Will
Russia Turn Back
the Clock?". Latitude: Views from Around the World. International
Herald Tribune. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
* ^ "Russian prime minister promises daylight saving time". Time
and Date.com. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
* ^ BBC Russia: Putin abolishes \'daylight savings\' time change
* ^ Российская Газета: Президент
вернул "зимнее время"
* ^ Natten mellan lördag och söndag går vi över till sommartid
* ^ Sommartid blir vintertid - även i SL-trafiken (Swedish)
* ^ Seit 30 Jahren Sommerzeit in der Schweiz Mein Regionalportal
* ^ "
Turkey to abandon daylight saving time in 2011". Turkish Daily
News . Worldtimezone.com. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
* ^ "
Turkey switches to summer time one day later". World Bulletin.
10 March 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-12.
* ^ "Turkey\'s election delays summertime". World Bulletin. 23
March 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
* ^ "End of Daylight Saving Time delayed in Turkey". Hürriyet. 30
September 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
* ^ "Scraps Winter Time delayed In Turkey". Hürriyet. 8 September
2016. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
* ^ A B
Ukraine cancels use of daylight saving time,
Kyiv Post (20
* ^ A B C
Ukraine to return to standard time on 30 Oct (updated),
Kyiv Post (18 October 2011)
* ^ Deputies cancelled the winter time, WorldTimeZone.com (20
Ukraine cancels plan to drop winter time change,
Kyiv Post (18
* ^ "DPR and LPR switch over to Moscow time".
ITAR TASS . 26
October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
* ^ Full text - Daylight Saving Time -
United Kingdom Law - The
Summer Time Order 1997
* ^ British Summer Time, wwp.greenwichmeantime.com
* David Prerau. Saving the Daylight: Why We Put the Clocks Forward.
Granta Books. ISBN 1-86207-796-7 .
Daylight saving time (or summer time)
Daylight saving time in Africa
Daylight saving time in Asia
Daylight saving time in the Americas
* Summer Time in Europe
Daylight saving time in Oceania
Daylight saving time by country