EU states should consider offering more legal possibilities for people in need of international protection to enter the Union, as viable alternatives to risky irregular entry, this year’s annual report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, which looked at developments across the EU in many areas over 2014, concluded.

The report states that a record numbers of migrants died as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe in 2014.

It says that the plight of migrants continued to worsen and there was a four-fold increase in those rescued or apprehended at sea.

The processing of migrants at the borders of some member states worsened and public discourse surrounding migrant integration continued to be a challenge.

However, new EU funding mechanisms were established to help member states implement EU migration and asylum law, improve solidarity between States and help fight cross-border crime.

Overall, the current migration situation in the EU pointed to the need for an over-arching EU-wide policy that addressed all aspects of migration from cause to effect.

The recent European Agenda on Migration is an important step in this regard, the report said.

The report can be read here.