[tz] Official definition and origin of the term "Central European Time"
tzdb at time.is
Fri Oct 23 18:52:18 UTC 2015
Is there an official definition of the term "Central European Time"
(CET), specifically which UTC offset(s) it refers to?
If there is no official definition, where did the term originate from?
I asked the information desk at the EU (Europe Direct) to help me find
links to relevant legislature, but their reply was that term CET is "not
regulated at a EU level, but internationally".
All credible sources I have found, say that CET is a constant UTC+1.
The closest thing I have found to an authoritative document, is the
German Time Act from 1978. It says: "Legal time is Central European
Time. It is defined as Coordinated Universal Time plus one hour." There
is no reference to the origin of this definition, and no information of
whether anyone other than the Germans agree on this definition.
On the EU's web pages (for instance
http://europa.eu/contact/index_en.htm) times are usually given in CET,
not CEST (Central European Summer Time), even though daylight saving
time is currently observed. Google gives a few hundred thousand results
for CET on europa.eu, and numerous of these results are hits on dates in
the daylight saving time period.
I think it makes more sense to define CET as alternating between UTC+1
(standard time) and UTC+2 (when DST is observed). (See
http://time.is/CET for a more elaborate definition.)
This is in line with for instance the US time zones Pacific Time and
Eastern Time, which refer to the time currently observed, whether it is
standard time or daylight saving time.
Time.is - exact time for any time zone
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