EU defense ministers agreed May 18 to establish a fund for joint military projects, Politico reported. The fund, known as the Cooperative Financial Mechanism, will be managed by the European Defense Agency; at least 19 countries will take part, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The European Defense Agency has been hampered before by member countries' misaligned budgetary procedures, as well as its inability to bring states together at the right time to secure funding for projects. The new Cooperative Financial Mechanism was created to ease this process. Though the new mechanism removes some of the bureaucratic barriers to joint projects, it is still unclear how effective it will be.