Institutionally, North America and the Europe could not be more different. The EU is composed of 27 Member states of varying sizes and populations, where no one country can dominate the rest on its own. The EU has developed common political, economic, and legal institutions leading to "an ever-closer union among the peoples of Europe".
The North American Free Trade Agreement is dominated by the colossus of the United States of America: when it sneezes, the other two catch a cold... Both Canada to the north and Mexico to the south want access to the vast and rich US market whilst at the same time remaining jealously protective of their own sovereignty. No discussion of an "ever-closer union" here...
And yet, the soon-to-be signed Free Trade Agreements between the EU and both Canada and the USA will only deepen the already close ties binding both sides of the Atlantic: since 1948, NATO has united Canada, the USA, and an ever-increasing number of European countries in the most successful supra-national security community the world has ever known.
As we become even more interconnected and interdependent, it is high time to lay the foundations of a new Trans-Atlantic Partnership: more effective, more accountable, more transparent, and more democratic.