The paper proposes an assessment of citizenship rules in European Union countries. First, it designs an analytical framework in order to evaluate the rules of political membership from a liberal-democratic perspective. Second, it develops a systematic comparative study of the citizenship rules of the 27 member states of the EU. I argue that a liberal-democratic conception of membership requires certain degrees of inclusiveness as well as exclusiveness. Moreover, liberal-democratic membership can be compatible with both major ideological views on membership –ethno-cultural and civic-territorial. It is not the ethnic or civic ideological conception of the polity that renders the rules of membership illiberal, but their unjustified scope.