Political situation Ambitious modernisation goals, cautious optimism

King Abdullah II wants to modernise Jordan politically. After the 2021 parliamentary elections, in which voter turnout reached an all-time low, the King launched reforms that are hoped to bring about a more vibrant political culture, more democracy and more participation.

Shepherd in Jordan

Shepherd in Jordan

Shepherd in Jordan

In 2022, comprehensive amendments to the constitution and new election and party legislation were adopted. Within a period of ten years, the parliament is to become more representative, and the development of national parties is to be fostered. The public response to these efforts has been reserved. Given that earlier reforms have failed, most people have so far been sceptical.

In parallel, the King and the government launched an extensive public sector reform. This administrative reform is intended to make serving the people the primary goal of all authorities. The government is hoping that the reform will also boost economic development. The focus is on enhancing efficiency and citizen participation, recruiting administrative staff on the basis of competency, and developing modern authorities that rely on digital technology.

In order to reduce the high unemployment rate, which is affecting women and young people in particular, the government launched a comprehensive reform package in 2022 to modernise the country's economy. The government is also resolutely tackling the task of adapting to climate change. Among other things, it presented a new water strategy in the first half of 2023 (see also Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth”).

Foreign policy

The Jordanian government often plays an active role in international political processes. The country is acting as a mediator in the Middle East peace process. It has adopted ambitious climate targets. And in 2025, it will co-host the Global Disability Summit in Berlin together with Germany.

Human rights

Jordan has signed all the main UN human rights treaties but in some cases has applied reservations to their provisions. No public criticism of the monarchy, military or security service is permitted. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are significantly restricted, as is freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Although women have equal rights under the constitution, they are still socially, economically and culturally disadvantaged.

As at: 26/10/2023