German Chancellor Angela Merkel may have adjusted her policies after last year's refugee influx. But last Sunday, she was punished anyhow by voters in her own constituency of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. That's one sign that the European Union's migration crisis is far from resolved yet.

The mere possibility of being sent back to Turkey has reduced the daily number of Greek island arrivals to 111 in August from 6,360 in October 2015. It's a psychological effect that is not mitigated by the obvious tension between Turkey and the EU, caused on the one hand by Europeans' unease about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's authoritarianism and on the other hand by the Turkish resentment of the EU's slowness in sending financial aid for refugees and abolishing short-term visas for Turks. Even an arrangement as shaky as this one introduces extra uncertainty into a fleeing Syrian's already high-risk plans.

Besides, countries along the migration route from Turkey have reinforced the route's negative publicity: Macedonia, for example, has all but closed its border with Greece. It's clear by now though that far from solving the problem, this kind of word-of-mouth deterrence has made alternative, longer and more dangerous routes of migration look comparatively more attractive.