A Member of the European Parliament for Scotland from 1979-84 and 1999-2009.
In his first term he was appointed to the new Internal Market subcommittee of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. In this capacity he worked to propose harmonised standards across a wide range of goods. His work would form the basis of the Single European Act in 1985.
During his second term as an MEP, Purvis was elected Vice Chairman of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in 2002, and then re-elected to this position during his third term in 2005 and 2007 (2002-2009). He was also a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (1999-2009). He also served on EU delegations to the Gulf States and to Middle Eastern countries and served on the EU Committee of Inquiry into the Euitable Life Assurance Society crisis. During his 15 years as an MEP, Purvis produced a number of major reports which helped to shape EU policy – notably on biotechnology (supporting GM foods), telecommunications and financial regulation.
He was also his Group’s spokesman for energy, research and technology.