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Europe Starts Daylight Saving Time March 28, 2010

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Published 19-Feb-2010. Changed 24-Mar-2010

Daylight saving time (DST), also known as “summer time”, will take place in most of Europe, including the United Kingdom (UK), on Sunday, March 28, 2010. The clocks will move one hour forward at 1am (01:00) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on this date.

timeanddate.com has Daylight Saving Time Dates for 2010, which includes DST dates for many countries in Europe. Not all European countries will turn the clocks forward at the same time so this list provides links to example locations, which enables people to find out when the clocks will move forward in these locations on March 28, 2010.

As most of Europe prepares for DST, there has been much talk and debate about time zones or DST in places such as Russia, the UK, and Spain. This article also takes a brief look at these proposals or discussions.

Part of clock with a close-up of a red pointer

Most of Europe, including the UK, starts daylight saving time 1am (01:00) UTC on Sunday, March 28, 2010. The clocks will move forward at the same global time (UTC) but in different local times.

©iStockphoto.com/cinoby

Europe’s Daylight Saving Schedule

Most countries in Europe annually follow a synchronized daylight saving time that lasts from the last Sunday of March until the last Sunday of October. The following DST schedule applies to most countries in Europe:

  • DST annually starts at 1am (01:00) UTC on the last Sunday of March.
  • DST ends at 1am (01:00) UTC on the last Sunday of October each year.

A European Union (EU) directive states that the last Sundays of March and October would be the dates definitively adopted for the daylight saving schedule among EU countries. Iceland does not observe DST, so its time is easy to calculate because it is identical to UTC/GMT. Find out in more detail about Europe’s time zones when it is daylight saving time and during the non-daylight saving period. timeanddate.com also has information on a brief history of DST in Europe.

Russian Federation to Reduce Number of Time Zones

The Russian government will change the time zone in several locations, bringing the total number of time zones in Russia down from 11 to 9 at the same time as DST starts. The Udmurt Republic is moved into the same time zone as Moscow. Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce prepared this resolution after the Udmurt Republic’s state council members recently sent an appeal to the Russian government about a proposed time zone change. The appeal called for the Udmurt Republic (also known as Udmurtia) to be in the same time zone as Moscow starting from March 28, 2010, when most of Europe goes into DST.

The Udmurt Republic will be on Moscow Standard Time (MSK), which is UTC+3, during the non-daylight saving period and on Moscow Daylight Time (MSD), which is UTC+4, during DST. The Udmurt Republic is currently on UTC+4 during the non-daylight saving period and on UTC+5 during DST. This appeal has been made in light of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s plan to reduce the number of time zones in the Russian Federation.

The Udmurt Republic is a full subject of the Russian Federation, formed on the national state principle. Udmurtia is a part of the Volga (Privolzhsky) Federal District and the Ural economic region. The capital of the Udmurt Republic is Izhevsk, located 1129 kilometers (about 702 miles) away from Moscow.

The Russian Federation’s Samara Oblast will also observe the same time as Moscow from March 28, 2010. Members of the Samara Regional Duma voted in March 2010 for the oblast to be in the same time zone as Moscow. The proposal has been approved by Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The easternmost regions in Russia, Kamchatka Krai and the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (UTC+12 during standard time), will join the time zone of the Magadan Oblast (UTC+11).

In addition, a proposal, titled "On the transition (of) Russia to Standard Time”, is gaining strong support from parties such as the Moscow City Duma and a Federation Council committee. The bill aims to abolish DST in Russia. However, Russia will continue its plan to start DST on the same date as the European Union’s DST start date (Sunday, March 28, 2010) and observe the schedule, at least until the proposal to abolish DST is made into law.

Another time change in Russia was approved earlier – the Kemerovo Oblast will apply a new time zone starting at 2am (02:00) local time on March 28, 2010. Kemerovo will no longer be on UTC+8 during DST from that date onwards. Instead it will be on UTC+7 during DST and on UTC+6 when it does not observe DST. Kemerovo is located in the Siberia (in Russia), which constitutes almost all of northern Asia.

UK Talks of Extending BST All Year

There has been talk of the UK extending British Summer Time (BST) all year round. Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently expressed that it was worth considering the idea of keeping the UK on BST throughout the year.

There are a few ideas on how the UK can amend its time. The first idea is for the clocks to go forward by one hour during DST (UTC+1) and remain on that same time throughout the year. The other idea is for the clocks to go forward by one hour both during DST and in the non-DST period so that the UK would be on UTC+1 during the non-DST period and on UTC+2 during DST. One of the UK’s biggest pub chains already expressed its support for the latter proposal.

The concept of extending BST for the entire year has been around for years.  It is important to note that the UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) but on BST when it observes daylight saving time.

Push for Spain to be in Portugal’s Time

Various groups in Spain have considered permanently amending the country’s time zone so that it would follow the same time as Portugal. The National Commission for the Rationalization of Working Hours said that it saw the advantages of Spain being in the same time zone as Portugal. It is believed that pushing Spain’s clocks one hour back would benefit people’s daily schedules, particularly regarding family life and work. The commission is also examining other ways to improve work, productivity and family schedules.

Spain (except the Canary Islands) is on Central European Time (CET), which is UTC+1, during the non-daylight saving period and on Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+2, during DST. If Spain was to follow Portugal’s time, it would be on Western European Time (WET), which is identical to UTC/GMT, during the non-daylight saving period and on Western European Summer Time (WEST), which is UTC+1, during DST. Mainland Spain’s time will also be synchronized with the Canary Islands’ time if the proposed time zone change was to occur. The Canary Islands are part of Spain.

Note: Any mention of summer and winter in this article refers to the seasons in the northern hemisphere.

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