Due to its geographical proximity to Europe, the North African Maghreb region,comprised of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, is the gateway to the Arab-Africanworld. Historically, Africa, especially the Maghreb region, was the last in the wakeof the colonial subjugation of the 19th Century, closely linked with Europe. TheMaghreb states were mainly utilized as colonies by France; oppression as well aseconomic and ecological exploitation left deep traces in the development of thecountries in the past two centuries. Using a descriptive-analytic comparison, thedevelopment of these three North African countries is highlighted since the time oftheir independence from France to the present. Subject of comparative analysis isthe formal development of state institutions in regards to the states' democratizationprocesses.The starting point for consideration is the degree to which the state structures of theMaghreb countries, after almost sixty years of independence, especially afterseveral decades of authoritarian rule reform process, can be measured againstwestern democracies.