Jürgen Neyer has recently proposed replacing the European Union's ‘democracy discourse’ with a ‘justice discourse’. This article challenges his arguments. It points out the difficulties associated with Neyer's assertion that EU democracy is not theoretically possible. It then goes on to argue against his proposition that it would be unfair to judge the EU against democracy criteria. Finally it questions Neyer's assumption that EU policy contains an incontestable justice, arguing that democracy remains essential as the means by which a political community differentiates between justice and injustice.