E40 Europe is member of E40 Group. Our main mission is to engage and give voice to local stakeholders in EU policies and projects across Europe. We are committed to bring practical knowledge and innovation to local people and help local groups and communities to connect to each other. We do analytical work to explore what works, organise events to share practical knowledge and bring people together, build capacity and communicate in an engaging and 'human' (not promotional) way. We currently mostly work on the themes of rural development, Smart Villages and social innovation.
The E40 Vision
The European Union is putting more and more emphasis on getting closer to citizens, engaging people, networking, social innovation... When it comes to project implementation, too often these terms are becoming empty buzzwords and not reality. We have believed that this can be different, and we got the chance to prove it through leading large EU projects that all - in one way or another - aim "to bring the EU closer to its citizens". The founder of E40 Europe (Edina Ocsko) has been working in EU projects for over 15 years before deciding to apply for EU projects through her own company in 2018.
The main purpose has never been creating a new EU consultancy but to DO projects differently, move away from 'business as usual' and make our work useful for people and communities. Therefore, while E40 Europe has its small core team, it is working with a much larger network of people (experts, practitioners from local communities, etc.) when implementing projects. We always try to flexibly mobilise the people who believe in our vision and are committed to make it happen (at a high professional level). Are you on board? Get in touch!
Meet Some of the E40 Europe Core Team
Founder & Director
I've been working in the fields of regional, social and rural development for over 20 years as a consultant. After graduating at the Budapest Corvinus University in 2001 (MA in International Relations and Public Administration), I completed my MSc in EU Policy Making at the London School of Economics. I lived and worked as a regional development consultant in London (UK) for more than 7 years.
Between 2013 and 2021, me and my family moved to Brussels, and during those years, I mostly worked as a member of the permanent team of the European Network for Rural Development Contact Point, primarily focusing on social aspects of rural development and networking.
I started to coordinate EU projects led by my own company (E40 Europe) in 2019, especially in the field of Smart Villages (the 1st and 2nd Preparatory Actions on Smart Rural areas in the 21st Century) and social innovation. I set as a main mission for my company and our projects to bring EU policies and projects closer to citizens. This is the main principle in all what I do. I also enjoy creative work. In 2023 I completed an MA in Documentary Film Directing. I currently live in Hungary (Solymar, near Budapest) with my family.
I am holding a degree from the Faculty of International Relations and EU Diplomacy. Throughout my career, I have held positions that involved project management and support. Before starting to work at E40 I have worked as a Project Assistant in Budapest, including support for a Colombian-Hungarian agroforestry project supported by the EU Trust Fund. Additionally, I gained experience as an Administrative Assistant at The Larsen Foundation in Stresa, Italy, where I handled various administrative and management tasks.
At E40 I've been acting as Assistant Coordinator being responsible for supporting coordination and organisational tasks in the Smart Rural projects, the FARMWELL Thematic Network as well as the SMARTA-NET.
I enjoy working in an international environment. Throughout my career I've had the opportunity to work in various countries, including Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, and Hungary. My language skills include proficiency in English and Italian, with a good level of proficiency in Spanish. Currently I live in Budapest with my family.
I am strategic territorial development planner and policy analyst currently living in Latvia with a strong connection to France where a have spent 10 years of my life. I have graduated in Geography and Spatial Planning at Sorbonne University in Paris and I am about to complete an MA in Spatial planning in University of Latvia.
I’ve got passionate about rural development while working with the LEADER Association in Latvia (Latvian Rural Forum), coordinating national and international projects - mainly on community and capacity building of local leaders. I also have experience in urban development as strategic planner for Riga City (Latvia). Since 2020, I am elected President of NGO “Forum Synergies” linking sustainable practices across Europe, focusing on intergenerational cooperation aspects and networking.
I have been actively involved in the European Rural Parliament (ERP) movement from 2018, with focus on coordinating the European Rural Youth Parliament (2019) and organising youth involvement (2022). I was elected in June 2023 as Executive Board Member of Partnership for Rural Europe (PREPARE).
I have joined the E40 Team in 2022, with focus on Smart Villages policy work and stakeholder engagement at all levels.
I have an MA degree in Teaching Mathematics (1998), as well as two further MAs in French Literature & Linguistics and French Language Teaching (2000). I also obtained an Applied Research Degree (diplôme de recherche appliquée) in Besançon (France) in 2000. Before joining E40, I was teaching Math in French in a Hungarian bi-lingual highschool. Working with youth has not only been my job but also my passion, I hugely enjoy working with people, facilitating discussions, and experimenting with new teaching methodologies.
I joined E40 in 2020 to assist E40's inspiring international projects. Supporting new ideas in engagement and capacity-building have been key areas of my expertise. I've been supporting the coordination of the Smart Rural projects, FARMWELL and SMARTA-NET.
At E40, I'm also in charge of assisting in all financial matters, from managing project budgets, through contracting and liaising with experts across Europe, to supporting financial management of the company. Currently I live in Solymar (Hungary) with my family.
Consultant & Financial support
E40 Group was the Lead Partner and E40 Europe the Coordinator of the 1st Preparatory Action on Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century (shortly called Smart Rural 21 project), implemented between 2020 and 2022. The project was funded by the European Commission (DG AGRI) and aimed to support selected rural communities in developing smart village strategies and smart solutions. We have directly supported 21 villages across Europe, and collaborated with more than 100 other rural communities to help them realise Smart Villages approaches. The project included direct technical support (in strategy development and smart actions), analytical work on Smart Villages, identification and promotion of smart solutions, organisation of various exchange events, and much more.
To find out more visit: www.smartrural21.eu
E40 Europe is the Lead Partner and the Coordinator of the 2nd Preparatory Action on Smart Rural Areas in the 21st Century (shortly called Smart Rural 27 project), implemented between Jan 2021 and May 2024. The project is funded by the European Commission (DG AGRI) and aimed to improve the Smart Villages support framework at all levels - from implementation of Smart Villages in local rural communities to improved Smart Villages policymaking at regional, national and European levels. The main goal of the project is to pilot the European Smart Villages Pilot Observatory through the engagement of stakeholders from all levels.
To find out more visit: www.smartrural27.eu
FARMWELL is a Horizon 2020 European Thematic Network coordinated by E40 Europe that aims at improving the mental, physical and social wellbeing of farmers. The project's goal is to make social innovations more accessible to address common social challenges that farmers, farming families and farming communities are facing in Europe today. The project has worked in 6 EU Member States (Belgium, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Romania). Beside the overall coordination of the project, E40 has been responsible for coordination of the collection of social innovations and communication & dissemination of outcomes.
To find out more visit: www.farmwell-h2020.eu
SMARTA-NET is an initiative of the European Commission, under DG MOVE that aims to promote sustainable and resilient mobility connections between rural areas, within remote areas such as islands, and between remote rural areas (including isolated regions) and urban areas, taking into account the need to support ecotourism. E40 Europe is a partner in SMARTA-NET responsible for supporting networking and communication tasks.
To find out more visit: www.smarta-net.eu
The Smart Village Network is an informal, open, independent, bottom-up network of villages, village groups and village associations across Europe that aim to exchange their views and experiences about smart solutions in response to rural challenges. The Smart Village Network makes the voices of villages heard at local, national and European levels. It is an open platform to discuss and debate various issues related to Smart Villages and the future of the rural development policy. E40 was initiating the network in 2018, when collaboration with local rural communities/ villages, LEADER LAGs and village associations has started. E40 has been responsible for operating the support unit of the Smart Village Network: the Smart Village Network Services.