Ever since its creation in 1884, the Alliance Française de Paris has helped the Alliances Françaises expand their network the world over. In July 2007, its status was modified and it became the Fondation Alliance Française. This foundation is officially recognised as a non-profit organisation and represents the moral and legal referent of the Alliances Françaises throughout the world.
The Fondation has the exclusive ownership of the “Alliance Française” label and grants the right to use it. Whenever a new Alliance is created, it has to refer to the Fondation in order to be officially recognised after examination of its statuses. Prior to the attribution of this label the Fondation ensures that the associations, which abide by local law, also respect a set of guiding principles defined by itself and common to all the Alliances. These principles include strict political and religious neutrality with respect to local disputes.