RTG-05 Green PoolDocuments from  to 
In the 1950s, there were significant disparities in the agricultural sector throughout Western Europe, and these gave rise to important technical as well as political and social questions. Compared with the powerful and very well organised American agricultural sector, Europe was a hotch-potch of national agricultural systems which were sometimes in direct competition. Therefore, the challenge lay in reorganising European agriculture in such a way as to make it competitive on a global scale, whilst fending off any risk of shortages linked to international conflict. The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 had, for example, led to a decline in world trade which also affected agricultural products and foodstuffs. In addition, the build-up of significant strategic stocks in Europe and the United States triggered an immediate rise in the prices of those products, and that threatened to further exacerbate the balance of payments deficits in European countries. Europe was therefore obliged to cut imports paid for in dollars by increasing domestic agricultural production and by joint action in reorganising the sector.
There were, however, two long-standing differences in ideology. Some European politicians were indeed tempted by the idea of rapid integration of the agricultural markets, while others preferred more flexible cooperation within existing European structures. The Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), the Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Movement had already expressed their support for the gradual creation of a single market for agricultural products in Europe. Inspired to a certain extent by the plan for a ‘black pool’ for coal and steel launched by Robert Schuman in May 1950, various projects for a ‘green pool’ saw the light of day. The Netherlands and France, exporting countries that were firmly in favour of European economic unification, decided to go ahead.