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EU Daylight Saving Time Rules

European clock change dates

Most European countries follow EU directives for time-keeping.

EU Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time) Rule

Since 1996 all clocks in Europe have changed on same date.

Europe - Standard Time Zones

There are three different time zones across the EU:

Western Europe Time (Standard Time = GMT)

United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal

Central Europe Time   (Standard Time = GMT+1)

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

Non-EU: Norway, Switzerland

Eastern Europe Time (Standard Time = GMT + 2)

Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania

Non-EU: Moldova, Ukraine


Source: European Union

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on summer-time arrangements (Directive 2000/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 January 2001 on summer-time arrangements)

2324th Council meeting TRANSPORT Brussels, 20 and 21 December 2000 ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE


Directive on summer-time arrangements

The Council, having approved the amendments to the proposal for a Directive on summer-time arrangements which were voted by the European Parliament at first reading, adopted the Directive as amended by the Parliament.

It should be noted that, in view of the expiry of the 8th Directive on summer-time arrangements on 31 December 2001, the Commission submitted in June 2000 a proposal for the adoption by the end of the year of new arrangements from 2002. Summer-time arrangements, which have been maintained over the last twenty years or so, are renewed for an unspecified period and the last Sundays in March and October are the dates definitively adopted. The Commission will oversee the repercussions of the new Directive and will submit a report to the Council after five years.

Source: EU Press Release

Directive Document (needs Adobe Acrobat reader)

Main Points:

"to fix the dates and times when the summer-time period will begin and end after 2001 throughout the EU, and to establish the arrangements from 2002"

"summer-time arrangements for an unspecified period"

"set the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October as the fixed date"

"at 1.00 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time"

Article 2: From 2002 onwards, the summer-time period shall begin, in every Member State, at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in March.

Article 3: From 2002 onwards, the summer-time period shall end, in every Member State, at 1.00 a.m., Greenwich Mean Time, on the last Sunday in October.

EU Official Time Arrangement Documents




UK Government Documents on Summer Time

When Do the Clocks Change?

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