BPEA Fall 2023 conference


BPEA Fall 2023 conference
Tara Varma

Tara Varma

Tara Varma is a visiting fellow in the Center of the United States and Europe at Brookings. Until December 2022, she was a senior policy fellow and the head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), where she followed French foreign policy and European and Asian security developments.

Varma looks particularly at current French defense and security proposals in the European framework, as well as ongoing efforts to materialize European sovereignty in health, economics, climate, energy, and more traditional security fields. She is also interested in pan-European national debates and especially how domestic politics in the European Union increasingly have an effect on them.

As an observer of Europe attempting to become a power, she is also interested in Asian security, and the role Europeans could play in it, notably in the Indo-Pacific region.

In 2012, 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.

Varma’s recent publications at ECFR included, “A certain idea of Europe: How the next French president can lead” (2022), “The fall of the Afghan government and what it means for Europe” (2021), and “A new transatlantic bargain: An action plan for transformation, not restoration” (2020). She has been an occasional contributor to ECFR’s “The World in 30 Minutes” podcast and a frequent contributor to its website.

She previously worked and lived in Shanghai, Delhi, and Paris. She graduated from Sciences Po Lille and SOAS in London in international relations, 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
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