But Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, who chaired the meeting, said he had “no doubt” opposing countries would implement the measures.
The Austrian leader said Hungary’s steps to secure the EU’s external border were lawful, but he stressed that asylum is a human right.
Bohuslav Sobotka said: “Even though I don’t like the use of the quotas, I don’t agree with them and we voted against them, Europe must not fall apart over solving the migrant crisis“.
“It is just a soother for the public in the countries that are now the destination of the current migration stream”, he added.
Sobotka met journalists before Interior Minister Milan Chovanec´s (CSSD) departure for the meeting.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the plan had been approved by a “crushing majority”.
“The discussions are completely disconnected from reality”, Doctors Without Borders humanitarian adviser Aurelie Ponthieu said after she and a colleague briefed an almost-empty European Parliament chamber last week about rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.
They also agreed more should be done to return migrants who do not have a genuine claim for asylum, a Downing Street spokesman said.
European Council President Donald Tusk urged leaders to focus on policies that will help each other, rather than blaming member nations.
After being re-elected in 2012 amid a large corruption scandal that engulfed Slovak politics, in 2014 Fico ran for president but lost to independent candidate Andrej Kiska, a former businessman who won nearly 60% of the vote running on an anti-Fico platform that played on fears that the prime minister was building up too much power.
He explained that this will not only concern mandatory quotas, but also the further functioning of the EU.
Djorjde Vlajic, a commentator and acting editor-in-chief of Serbia’s state Radio Belgrade 1, said the apparent softening of positions was the result of European Union pressure.
MEP for the conservative opposition TOP 09 Jiří Pospíšil pointed out the negative effect of the decision.
Europe can expect a record one million people to request asylum this year as refugees flee war Syria and Iraq in droves, and European Union leaders must set their differences aside to meet the challenge, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said.
The populist Dawn Movement-National Coalition wants to react to the quotas by a referendum on leaving the EU.
Critics of the European Union plan say many relocated migrants will anyway try to move on to countries where they really want to settle.
Ireland and Britain – which are not part of Europe’s passport-free Schengen borderless area – were not required to take part.
Greece yesterday came in for fresh criticism from the European Commission for failing to offer sufficient material aid to refugees.
More than 430,000 migrants have come to Europe by sea so far this year, double the number that arrived during all of 2014, according to the worldwide Organization for Migration.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose country is one of the main landing points for refugees crossing the Mediterranean, meanwhile called for responsibility to be shared, saying “otherwise there is no point in talking about a united Europe”.