Political power remains concentrated in the hands of the monarchy and the economy is plagued with clientelism and cartels between the main economic actors that hamper economic growth, innovation, job creation and exclude a large portion of the mainly young population. Corruption is endemic in the country.
While more stable than its neighbouring countries, Morocco has regressed in terms of freedoms and democratisation standards in recent years. Despite some progress in areas such as reform of the justice system and women’s rights, conditions for the human rights movement are deteriorating in the face of a resilient deep state. The legal environment for civil society is challenging and organisations are regularly denied legal status if they criticise the system. Freedom of press and freedom of expression are limited. Journalists, activists and politicians voicing criticism of the state’s performance are persecuted and prosecuted, some serving lengthy sentences following politicised trials.