Meanwhile, a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report – released on Monday -accused the police in Macedonia of violence and ill-treatment of refugees streaming into the country from Greece on their way to northern Europe.
Defeat in the vote means Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia could be forced to take more than 6,000 people between them, out of a total of 120,000 newly distributed across the continent from Italy and Greece.
“I would rather go into infringement than accept the quotas“, said Fico, whose party is facing parliamentary elections in the spring.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the plan had been approved by a “crushing majority”.
Although in the weeks since, tens of thousands of more migrants and refugees have arrived in the EU, the European Commission’s mathematical “key” on redistribution based on GDP and population size, and other factors is no long under consideration, an EU contact told EUobserver – meaning the mandatory quota idea is “dead”.
None of the countries that voted against the plan has yet indicated whether it would appeal. That system would not work as the Czech Republic or Slovakia or Hungary prefers Christians and the rest would be stuck with the others.
Prague warned that the scheme would be unworkable and could end in “big ridicule” for governments and European Union authorities.
The Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec wrote on Twitter: “Very soon we will realise the emperor has no clothes”.
‘What we have witnessed today is four countries who wish to control who settles in their country being outvoted by foreign government‘.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum.
But they clearly not seen this coming – wave of migrants hitting European borders in hope of better life, for some to escape death.
Migrants sleep inside a bus as they wait to be admitted into a…
The PM’s spokesman said the two leaders had agreed that today’s summit must have a “comprehensive approach”.
Still, the original plan has been reworked in recent days by ambassadors and experts to try to find some margin for compromise among intractable member states.
Hungary has also installed spools of razor wire near a border crossing with Slovenia, which like Hungary is part of the EU’s Schengen zone of passport-free travel.
As for the European Union, Fico is known for his mixed relationships.
The United Nations estimates that 80 percent of the people entering Europe through the Balkans are fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Therefore, this week’s vote could prompt a fundamental re-think, particularly in central and eastern Europe, as to which powers should be given up to the European Union level and which ones should be retained nationally. “And if the majority opts for countries offering a more financially welcoming environment?”