This paper explores the historical evolution and present content of a common EU energy poverty agenda. It identifies the principal institutional and political drivers of this process, as well as the ways in which it has been translated into formal legal and policy documents. Also discussed are the key actors involved in promoting energy poverty relevant policies, as well as recent trends in the development of a more coherent programme to address the difficulties faced by vulnerable groups. The paper argues that EU energy poverty policy has been limited by the subsidiarity principle, and as such has been largely shaped by instruments related to the single market, even if energy efficiency and social policy-related efforts have also played a role. In recent years, the EU has taken significant steps towards the formulation of a common energy poverty policy.