The EU contains many of the most open and transparent democracies in the world, some are less so. France, for example is classed as a 'flawed democracy'. Another poster linked to a international democracy measure a few months ago . Of course 'democracy' cant be measured on the basis of just one election or referendum but on accessibility, freedom of press, participation, etc. As I recall Britain scores well ahead of France, Italy and Belgium but short of the netherlands, germany and the scandinavian nations.