An informal Council of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and regional policies will be held in Venice, Italy, on 3-4 May 1996. During their two-day meeting, the Ministers will discuss the effectiveness, control and simplification of regional policy, culture and structural policies, and progress of the European Spatial Development Perspective. In particular, the Ministers will discuss the Commission working paper on how to increase effectiveness, control and simplification within regional policy. Areas of concern include the quality and management of programmes, the strengthening of financial control, and the need for a better definition of roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the Structural Funds. In the area of culture and structural policies, Ministers will discuss the possibilities of how cultural activities aided by the Structural Funds can contribute to job creation. To this end, the Commission has put forward a paper that illustrates the link between culture and regional development, gives examples of projects co-financed by the Structural Funds and sets out the framework for further assistance by the Structural Funds to cultural action. Debate will also focus on the development process of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP). The ESDP aims to achieve a synthesis between the spatial planning strategies carried out within the Member States and the "spatially relevant" Community policies, i.e. EU policies likely to modify its geography (e.g. regional policy, trans-European networks, environment, reform of the common agricultural policy, etc.).