The concepts of democracy and the democratic deficit are often applied to the European Union uncritically. However, before discussions of democracy can be meaningful, we must decide if the EU is a political entity that warrants evaluation by democratic standards. This paper challenges the notion that a primordial demos must exist before a democracy can be viable. A primordial demos is not necessary as illustrated by many nation-states which are not based on a distinct ethnic identity. Europe already has an emergent civic demos on which it draws for support and legitimacy. Having established that a demos exists, the paper goes on to assess the performance of the EU in light of democratic standards. While important limitations exist, the EU's democratic capacity is growing in terms of accountability, openness, and perhaps representation.