This study analyses the European Union's (EU's) citizenship regime as a demoi-cratic institution. It explores the effect of supranational citizenship on subjective legitimacy and focuses particularly on special access to the political system that is granted to moving EU citizens. The first section critically reviews the EU's citizenship regime as a model of gradual citizenship. Based on that, the second section examines the effects of EU citizenship status on subjective legitimacy, measured as political efficacy and satisfaction with democracy. It is argued that gradual political membership fosters political efficacy and satisfaction with democracy in national political systems. The empirical study examines perceptional differences at the most aggregate level and tests them against factors at the individual and contextual levels. The results provide evidence for the postulated effects on efficacy and point to the importance of domestic policies regulating access to the political system for the effects on efficacy and satisfaction with democracy.