The debate on the European Union's democratic deficit usually operates within a national-democratic framework of analysis. This article argues for a change in methodology. It follows the thesis that the EU is a ‘demoicracy’– a polity of multiple demoi– and has to be evaluated as such. Core principles of demoicracy are developed and the EU is assessed accordingly. Such an evaluation is not only more adequate, but also provides original insights: it is found that, whereas the constitutional development of the EU has approached demoicratic standards in general, major deficits remain at the national level.