Tara Varma

Tara Varma

Tara Varma is a visiting fellow in the Center of the United States and Europe at Brookings. Her research focus includes current French security proposals in the European framework, as well as ongoing efforts to materialize European sovereignty in traditional and non-traditional security fields. Varma is also interested in the growing nexus between domestic and foreign policies inside the European Union, and in Indo-Pacific security and the role Europeans could play in it.

Until December 2022, she was a senior policy fellow and the head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where she followed French foreign policy and European and Asian security developments. In 2022, she was part of the working group on the French European Council presidency, set up by the French Foreign Ministry, which led to the publication of a report entitled “A Europe for Today and Tomorrow: Sovereignty, Solidarity, Shared Identity.” The report included a number of recommendations on how to strengthen Europe’s strategic autonomy and how to bridge the gap between France’s ambitions for Europe and a form of “soft Euroskepticism” borne by a growing part of the French population. In November 2023, Varma was awarded the honor of Knight of the National Order of Merit of France.

Varma’s recent publications include “‘We lost an opportunity to listen to you’: Why Macron is embracing Eastern Europe,” “Unrest in France challenges Macron’s ambitions,” and “Macron Put the Spotlight on Europe’s Disjointed China Policy” (with Sophia Besch). She has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Le Monde, and more, appears regularly on France24, and is a frequent guest on the Center for a New American Security’s “Brussels Sprouts” podcast. Varma has previously worked and lived in Shanghai, London, New Delhi, and Paris. She has a master’s degree in international relations from Sciences Po Lille (2011) and a Masters of Science in international politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) (2011), with a focus on Asian politics and Indian and Chinese foreign policies.

  • Areas of Expertise

    • Europe’s Indo-Pacific ambitions
    • European foreign policy
    • French foreign policy
    • Future of Europe
    • Trans-Atlantic relations
  • Past Positions

    • Head of the Paris Office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
    • Deputy Head of the Paris Office and Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
    • Coordinator of the Paris Office, European Council on Foreign Relations
    • Policy Officer, French Consulate General, Shanghai, China
  • Education

    • M.A., Sciences Po Lille, 2011
    • M.Sc., School of Oriental and African Studies, London, UK, 2011
  • Languages

    • English
    • French
    • Hindi
    • Spanish
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