President Nicolas Sarkozy's move raised fears that national protectionism could scupper hopes of recovery within the EU. The Czech Republic, current holder of the EU presidency, condemned his comments.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said "today was the start of a European consensus on all these major issues that are facing the world community", including "no to protectionism".
After chairing the talks on Sunday, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said: "We need a Europe without barriers but also a just and fair Europe."
"I think that it was perfectly clear that the European Union isn't going to leave anybody in the lurch," he told a news conference.
The centrifugal forces threaten to tear countries one from another and, in the end, if there is no countervailing force, the whole thing could fly apart
But there was no announcement of any new EU aid package for the badly-hit economies of Central and Eastern Europe.
Mr Topolanek also said US President Barack Obama would visit Prague on 5 April.
Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany warned earlier against allowing a "new Iron Curtain" to divide the continent.
Many of the newer EU members in Central and Eastern Europe have seen their financial institutions and economies battered by the downturn. They are faced with plunging currencies, factory closures and in some cases social unrest.
Hungary and Latvia especially are facing serious liquidity problems. They are already receiving billions of euros from an EU emergency fund.
Commission president Barroso said agreement was reached on a framework for dealing with the toxic assets on bank balance sheets that have crippled lending.
He also stressed that the EU was putting substantial funding into Central and Eastern Europe. He said 7bn euros of structural funds would go to the new member states his year, including 2.5bn for Poland.
I think we should remain protectionist at all times, irrespective of how the financial climate changes. It is about time this country was proud again of its manufacturing base and stopped being just an island of service industries.
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