The democracy debate in the ?U concentrates on two parameters: the political community-the demos- and the institutional setting that better accommodates it. A common political culture can be crafted on principles of justice and good governance. It need not, and cannot, replace the cultural homogeneity of national communities. Democratic legitimacy in the ?U is not analysed along lines of antithesis, but through a synthesis of different models. Further increasing the EP powers will exacerbate the legitimacy deficit of the Union. The ?? itself is not legitimate. Democratic legitimacy and efficiency in Council deliberations should not be treated as a zero-sum game, but as mutually complementing parameters of good governance. Voting configurations in the Council should be fair, according to the principle of “institutional parity”. Yet, to confront the dilemmas of democratic organisation in a post-national era a more profound reconsideration of the institutional architecture at all levels of governance and a re-evaluation of the liberal- democratic principles is needed to bridge the ever- widening gap between government structures and society.