Experts & Staff

Tara Varma

Head, ECFR Paris
Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

French foreign policy; European security; politics and security in Asia

Languages

French, English, Spanish, Hindi

Biography

Tara Varma is a policy fellow and head of the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations, where she follows French foreign policy and European and Asian security developments.

She looks particularly at current French defence and security proposals in the European framework. She is also interested in Asian security, and the role Europeans could play in it, notably in the Indo-Pacific region. Varma joined ECFR in January 2015 as a coordinator and then deputy head of the Paris office. 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.

Publications

Articles

Rocking the boat: The Macron method

The thread that runs through most of Macron’s speeches and declarations is European strategic sovereignty: he fears that Europe will be marginalised in a world in which authoritarian powers are rising. 

Specials

Eyes tight shut: European attitudes towards nuclear deterrence

Europeans remain unwilling to renew their thinking on nuclear deterrence, despite growing strategic instability. Their stated goal of “strategic autonomy” will remain an empty phrase until they engage seriously on this matter. This intellectual under-investment looks set to continue despite: a revived debate “German bomb” debate; a new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and the collapse of the INF treaty. Attitudes to nuclear deterrence differ radically from country to country – something which any new engagement on the nuclear dimension will have to contend with. And, while many governments and their voting publics are aligned in attitudes, in some crucial players like Germany the government and public are at loggerheads. No European initiative to declare strategic nuclear autonomy is yet practicable but a strategy to hedge for future uncertainties is available. As a first step, the UK and France should convert the idea of a European deterrent from mere notion into credible offer, by thickening their bilateral nuclear cooperation and sending growing signals that indicate their readiness to protect others.

Podcasts

In the media