Austria's incoming right-wing chancellor Sebastian Kurz joined eastern and central European countries on Friday in backing EU President Donald Tusk's rejection of mandatory refugee quotas.

Tusk called the troubled scheme "ineffective" and "highly divisive", in a letter to EU leaders before a summit in Brussels that entered its second day Friday.

Eastern European states like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which have refused to take part, agree with Tusk but other including Germany and Greece do not.

"Tusk is right when he says that mandatory migrant quotas in the EU haven't worked," said Kurz, 31, who is expected to replace centre-left Chancellor Christian Kern next week.

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